UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 14th APRIL 2016

IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

The Acting President, Com. R. Mallia occupied the Chair.

PRESENT: M. Morey [Secretary], T. Costa [Assistant Secretary].

OPENING OF THE MEETING:
The Acting President, Com. R. Mallia opened the meeting and in doing so recognised the traditional owners of the land on which the meeting was held, The Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

MINUTES:

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the minutes from the meeting of 7th April 2016 as circulated be received”.

 Com. R. Fortescue seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-                          

That the minutes of the meeting of 7th April 2016 as circulated be adopted”.

Com. P. Noack seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:  

From:  Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia appointing Tracy LeFevre in place of Mark Edwards for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey  moved:-

 "That the credential be received and the delegate welcomed.”

Com. A. Claassens seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: J. Kiejda, C. Bolger, S. Turner,  Graeme Kelly (USU), S. Butler, Patricia Reid.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-     

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

 Com. D. McKinley seconded.

 CARRIED

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE:

 

1.  From Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU):- regarding the plight of the family of deceased worker Mathieu Linares-Lopez. As the third year without their beloved son and brother passed yesterday, the family have again been left let down by blinded bureaucracy in our state.

Not only have the Linares-Lopez family had to endure the devastation of losing Mathieu, but he was taken from them in a foreign land on what was supposed to be the adventure of his life time.

Mathieu was working as a labourer on a Camperdown building site when he was killed on Saturday 13 April 2013, in circumstances that those responsible have since pleaded guilty to.

The family have continually been victim to the tyranny of distance, making communication and understanding extremely difficult. In the three long years since Mathieu’s passing, they have not received the regular updates from the state regulator or prosecutor afforded to those local, through no fault of their own. 

As we approach what is hoped to be the final stages in this incredibly dark chapter of their lives, the family would very much like to be present for the sentencing hearing and deliver their Victim Impact Statements in person.

Sadly, and in another devastating outcome for the family, their requests for assistance from the state government and SafeWork NSW have been denied. The Linares-Lopez family now hold the fear that they will not be able to reach a minimum level of closure in the matter and that the court system will not fully comprehend the enormous toll Mathieu’s death has had on them.

By having the ability to deliver a Victim Impact Statement in person the family can participate in a process that has largely left them on the sideline unfairly. Furthermore, section 3A of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 highlights the importance of sentencing to “recognise the harm done to the victim of the crime and the community”, which could not be achieved by having a willing participatory family victim absent.

We request Unions NSW assistance to facilitate an urgent meeting with the appropriate NSW Government Minister to discuss reconsideration for Worksafe NSW refusal of their request by the Linares-Lopez family, so that they may finally have an opportunity of achieving some justice and closure in a situation so drastically stacked against them.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved the Executive Recommendation:-

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW will convene an urgent meeting with the NSW Government to discuss the refusal of Worksafe NSW to accept the request of the Linares-Lopez family for assistance.”

Com. P. McAleer seconded the resolution.

Com. Rita Mallia, President CFMEU spoke to the correspondence.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  Essential Energy

Com. David McKinley reported on employer Essential Energy who is applying to terminate their existing Enterprise Agreement. 

Essential Energy's proposed workplace agreement could terminate policies covering redundancy provisions, staff redeployments and salary maintenance .This agreement would allow the immediate sacking of 800 regional employees, including workers at North Coast depots including Ballina, Ewingsdale, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads, Casino, Kyogle and Lismore.

Essential Energy employees voted overwhelmingly in support of the action over a new enterprise agreement being proposed by the company. 

The Electrical Trades Union has formally notified management at the electricity distributor that protected industrial action will begin at locations across the state, starting with two four-hour stoppages and a series of temporary work bans.  Today the 14th April half of the state is on strike and the other half will be on strike tomorrow.

Com. McKinley urged delegates, members and families to support the campaign and to visit the Unions NSW website or click on http://bit.ly/emailessential ‘Essential Energy Stand up and be Counted’ site and tell Essential Energy CEO Gary Humphreys that ending the agreement with his workforce, won’t improve services or lead to lower power prices.    

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:- 

That the report be received and noted”.

Com P.Reid seconded.

 

CARRIED

2.  MAY DAY

Firstly, Com. Paul McAleer, MUA thanked Unions NSW for agreeing to hold the funeral of Pat Geraghty a former MUA official at Trades Hall on the 1st April.

Com. Paul McAleer addressed council and said May Day was the best day of the year because it’s a day celebrated all over the world.  This year it will be bigger and better than ever.  This year the May Day parade will be followed by a Family Fun Day held at Victoria Park with rides, stalls, face painters, entertainment and food vendors to make it a really enjoyable family fun day. 

Com. McAleer spoke of the May Day Toast to be held Friday 29th April at the Workers Unity Hall, Balmain. He said tickets were going fast and were only available online through the Unions NSW website.  He also thanked Councillor Linda Scott for her assistance in gaining the approval from Sydney City Council to hold the event at Victoria park. 

The Secretary, Com. M Morey said let’s make the 2016 May Day event bigger and better than ever. Like Queensland who have over 30,000 people attend their May Day.  

We want our May Day to be on par with the QCU.

The Secretary said he would like each union to commit to bring at least 200 members, activists, delegates and their families.


The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

That the report be received and noted”.

 Com.  P. McAleer seconded.

 

CARRIED


3.  
Korean Festival

Com. Alison Rahill, Unions NSW reported on the Korean Festival held Saturday 2nd April.   The organisers of this Korean Festival event had rejected our request for a stall about workers’ rights for the past two years but this year they considered Gonski more acceptable by the Festival organisers because it is about education and does not appear to be directly anti-Government.  Com. Rahill said it was difficult for migrants to oppose the government because of their desire to “fit in”, and who generally view anti-government propaganda (union material) as subversive. 

The Festival attracted around 100,000 visitors.  250 signatures were collected during the day many people in the Korean and Chinese communities are not accustomed to giving over their personal information so this was considered highly successful.  The Festival gained a lot of coverage by both the Korean Info World Weekly and the Korean Today. Local newspapers ran stories and photos of the Unions NSW stall.   The Korean Info World Weekly has requested more information about Gonski in order to do a double page feature in the upcoming three weekly editions. The Korean organisers said since working with Unions NSW this view is now changing and if affiliates have any material they would like translated they would be happy to do so.

The Secretary. Com. M. Morey congratulated Alison Rahill for her support in helping organise the successful stall and for making the community aware of what Gonski means to the education system.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.

Com.  A. Claassens seconded.

 

CARRIED


4.  TAFE

Com. Mary Yaager, Unions NSW reported on the action outside Granville TAFE college this week and that the Opposition Shadow Minister, Pru Carr announced that they are planning to introduce the contestability funding and have launched a petition in support.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. P. Reid seconded.

 

CARRIED

5.  Port Kembla Steelworks

Com. Wayne Phillips addressed council regarding the closure of the steelworks in Port Kembla.  He said that a lot of assistance from the government has fallen short of what is needed to assist the industry.  If the steelworks close that will cost the economy 3.5 billion.  He said only 49% of steel in Australian industry is Australian and we need 90%.  He called on the Federal Government to use 100 per cent Australian steel in government-funded infrastructure projects where possible adopting of this policy would generate revenue and jobs for the region.

The government claims that it is restricted by trade agreements but this is just a smokescreen and America and China each protect their steel industries.  He said he is over the political speak and to stop the free traders, because we have a legacy to the future of blue collar workers.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. D. McKinley seconded.

 

CARRIED


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  International Day of Mourning – Thursday 28th April

  Invitation to attend International Day of Mourning with families who have lost loved ones in the workplace:

  • Sydney:   11:45am for 12:00pm at Reflection Park, Darling Harbour
  • Blacktown Council unveiling of memorial Statue:    Thursday 28 April, 9:30am -10am Blacktown Showground Reflection Pool (near café).
  • Central Coast:  Thursday 28 April, 11:45am for 12noon
    Ourimbah Wall of Remembrance, Chittaway Rd.
  • Kiama: 28 April 11am in Foyer of the Kiama Pavillion, Bong Bong Rd
  • Newcastle Thursday 28th April at 12 noon, Foreshore Drive, Newcastle

2.  ACTU Organising Works

Is commencing soon.   This invaluable program has been servicing unions in their organising efforts for more than 20 years, and has now been revitalised with a new curriculum. We are calling for expressions of interest for programs running in NSW, Qld & Victoria.  This program will be composed of ten courses beginning in July 2016 and running to September 2017.

For further information please go to the ACTU website

https://actu.wufoo.com/forms/z1a8e22w1xn3c2x/   

3.   Mothers Day Classic

Sunday 8 May 2015 – Walk or Run it doesn’t matter how you walk or run it just matters why.

Emma Maiden and Rita Mallia will be running again and will be joined by Secretary, Mark Morey so please either join them or sponsor them.

Register online: mothersdayclassic.com.au/register-online.

 

No Council Meetings next week

Council meetings will not be held next week

  • Thursday 21st  April– NO meeting (school holidays)            

Meetings will resume Thursday 28th April 2016

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:20PM

 

 

      

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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