UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 16TH APRIL 2015 AT NSW TEACHERS FEDERATION
CONVENTION CENTRE, 23 - 33 MARY STREET, SURRY HILLS AT 5:30PM.

The President, Com. M. Issanchon occupied the Chair.

PRESENT:  M. Morey [Acting Secretary], E. Maiden [Assistant Secretary].

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The President, Com. M. Issanchon 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 Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

“That the minutes from the meeting of 9th April, 2015 as circulated be received”.

 Com. M. Stylii seconded.

CARRIED

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the minutes of the meeting of 9th April 2015 be adopted”.

 Com. P. Noack seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS FOR TONIGHT’S MEETING:

From:  Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia:- appointing G. Welsh in place of J. Owen for tonight’s meeting.

From:  Australian Workers’ Union, Greater NSW Branch:- appointing S. Bean in place of R. Collison for tonight’s meeting.

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

“That the credentials be received and the delegates welcomed.”

 Com. A. McEwan seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for:- M. Lennon, R. Collison, J. Kiejda, D. Ravlich, C. Bolger, Graeme Kelly, Genevieve Kelly, M. Cartwright, J. Taylor, J. Wright.

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

 Com. E. Cody seconded.

CARRIED

MOTION OF CONDOLENCE:-

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey advised it was his sad duty to report the passing last week of Police Association Life Member, Don Freudenstein. Don had been recovering from cancer and died of respiratory failure. Don was awarded the Unions NSW Scroll of Honour in 2005.

Peter Remfrey reported on Don’s history of service to the Police Association and the union movement.

Don was a Vice President, Executive Member and Branch Official of the Police Association of NSW (PANSW) and senior official of the Commissioned Police Officers Association (CPOA) after he was promoted to Commissioned Rank. He became the COPA Secretary and their only full time official.  Don was instrumental in the CPOA amalgamation with the PANSW with the PSANSW recognising their future success could only be guaranteed by formally linking the two organisations together.  He became the inaugural Organiser for the Commissioned Officers branch of the PANSW following the amalgamation and served his members in that role until his retirement in 2004.  Don was a legend in regard to his dogged representation of his members and the various entitlements that they enjoy today are a direct result of his efforts.                                            

A MINUTES SILENCE WAS OBSERVED.


GUEST SPEAKER:

The President, Com. M. Issanchon welcomed Ms Sally McManus and invited her to address delegates.

Sally began her address by thanking affiliates for their support of her in her move to the ACTU. She reported on the ACTU Federal Election campaign, “Build a Better Future”, which is now up and running. The objective is to defeat Tony Abbott and change the direction of the country. The ACTU believes there could be an election this year and needs to be ready by September at the earliest. The campaign needs to start in workplaces and will focus on living standards and what the Government has done or is planning in terms of penalty rates, Medicare, Productivity Commission Inquiry etc. Over 90 organisers attended training Sally ran last week. Sally is happy to repeat this training if there is demand.

The campaign has 4 elements. First, workplace meetings to be help to discuss the living standards agenda. Second, take the campaign to communities. Third, the on-the-ground campaign will be complemented online. Fourth, the campaign will target marginal seats. 

The ACTU is currently finalising the plans for the employment of target seat coordinators and other researches to support the campaign. This is being done in consultation with TLCs. The NSW approach of LUCCs is the best way forward. The ACTU hopes to build on the best from NSW and elsewhere in shaping the campaign.

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey thanked Sally for her report and noted how pleasing it was to see the campaign based on interacting with members and the community.

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE:

1. From Councillor Linda Scott, City of Sydney:-  regarding the future of the City Recital Hall Staff.

Councillor Scott advised she was writing to inform Unions NSW of the outcome at the meeting of the City of Sydney Council on 30th March 2015, where the Council considered an item on the future governance of the City Recital Hall.

The City Recital Hall is a purpose built chamber music venue which the City of Sydney has responsibility for through a 99 year lease from AMP.  Since opening, its management has been contracted to a commercial facilities management company, Pegasus Venue Management Pty Ltd, on a fee for service basis.

At the meeting on 30th March 2015, the Council resolved to support the establishment of a not-for-profit organisation, constituted as a public company limited by guarantee under the Commonwealth Corporations Act 2001 to manage the City Recital Hall.  The City of Sydney Council will be the initial member of the new entity and the initial company directors shall be appointed by the Council.  

The transfer from Pegasus Venue Management to the new entity will have serious implications for the current workers will not be adequately protected throughout the transfer process.

I have raised my concerns directly through the Council and with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) who assume coverage over the workers involved.   MEAA have begun a petition to show public support for the protection of rights, conditions, and pay of the workers involved:  https.//www.change.org/p/protect-city-recital-hall-s-talented-staff

At the Council meeting on Monday 30th March 2015, I moved an amendment to protect the jobs, conditions and pay of the City Recital Hall workers ( see Attachment A) however this was not supported by the majority of Councillors.

I am deeply concerned that the independent, political representatives of the Council, whist they may claim to be progressive, act in opposition to the protection of workers’ rights and that the jobs of workers will be placed at risk during the transfer from Pegasus Venue Management to the new entity.

Conditional upon Ministerial consent to establish a new governing entity for the City Recital Hall, this item will be returning to Council for a decision to be made regarding the level of grant funding for the financial years 2016-2020.

I ask that Unions NSW consider passing a resolution in the same spirit as the amendment I moved to protect the jobs, conditions and pay of the workers at the City Recital Hall and lend their support to the petition: https://www.change.org/p/protect-city-recital-hall-s-talented-staff

I will continue to advocate for the protection of jobs and the rights and conditions of workers employed directly or indirectly by the City of Sydney Council.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office on (02) 9288 5917 if you would like to discuss this matter further.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW expresses its concern about the transfer of the City Recital Hall from Pegasus Venue Management to a new entity.  The jobs, rights and conditions of employment of the current workers must be protected.

Affiliates are encouraged to support MEAAs campaign including the petition.

Unions NSW will seek to draw supporters to the campaign via social media.”

Com. V. Falconer seconded the resolution.

CARRIED

2.  From Textile Clothing & Footwear Union:- advising Unions NSW it will soon be 2 years since the collapse of the Rana Plaza Building in Bangladesh killing 1,139 workers; this was the worst ever industrial catastrophe to hit the clothing industry anywhere in the world.

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza building came crashing down, not only killing 1,139 people but also leaving thousands more injured. People all across the world looked on in shock and horror as media reports poured in revealing the true extent of the human toll. There were harrowing stories of survival, of people who had no choice but to amputate their own limbs in order to be freed from the rubble and survive.

At least 29 global brands had recent or current orders with at least one of the five garment factories in the Rana Plaza building. Each of these brands was a complicit participant in the creation of an environment that ultimately led to the deaths and maiming of thousands of workers.

Deaths like these are brought about by these global brands driving down prices to maximise profits while divorcing themselves from any responsibility for the suffering inflicted on workers in their supply chains.
Now nearly two years since this disaster, the suffering continues for the survivors and families of the dead as they are forced to wait for compensation.

It is true that no amount can make up for the loss of a loved one or the resulting physical and emotional scars inflicted on those who survived such a tragedy. But what is also true is that the survivors and victims’ families should be compensated for the financial and medical losses they sustained as a direct result of this disaster.

On Friday the 24th April our Union along with a number of other organisations will be holding a vigil and lay a wreath in the memory of 1,139 workers killed in this disaster. We would also like to call upon Unions NSW Affiliates to come along and support these workers.

We seek your support in enlisting the participation of as many members/affiliates of Unions NSW as possible, to make the Global Brands pay up and end some of the suffering for the injured workers families that are forced to live with their loss every day.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW notes the impending 2nd anniversary of the Rana Plaza industrial disaster.

Unions NSW encourages all affiliates to attend the vigil on 24 April 2015 and support the TCFUA campaign to hold the global brands to account.”

Com. G. Welsh seconded the resolution.

CARRIED

3. From Asbestos Eradication Fund:- Asbestos related disease is being diagnoses at yet to peak levels, with the asbestos related disease death toll taking more than one thousand workers per year.

Exposure Patterns and Disease

Initially the incidence of asbestos exposure and disease fell heavily on asbestos miners, manufacturers and their families. Now we have exposure of many tradespeople, Do it yourself home renovators, and their families and people from range of occupations where there is incidental exposure or no significant exposure such as workers exposed to decaying asbestos in their natural workplace.

A number of Inquiries have provided independent or bi partisan supported findings and recommendations to take decisive action. These include:

Safe Work Australia, Asbestos-related Disease Indicators, May 2014

  1. NSW Ombudsman Report: Responding to the asbestos problem: The need for significant reform in NSW- including “adequate funding is allocated for implementing the state wide asbestos plan.”

  2.  Australian Government: National Asbestos Review including:

           An investigation to inform the development and implementation of a  systematic and staged prioritised asbestos removal                  program that will: 

          (i) Develop systems and guidelines for application by government and  commercial building owners in order to assist with                        removal of ACM from their properties by 2030; and

          (ii) Examine the feasibility of a future prioritised removal program for residential properties 

     3.  NSW Parliament,  Joint Select Committee On Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation including:

         That the NSW Government urgently establish a taskforce to develop and implement a buy-back scheme to demolish homes              identified as being contaminated by loose-fill asbestos insulation in New South Wales, modelled on the approach adopted by the          ACT Government. 

         However, the failure of governments to secure adequate commitment for funding in many occasions has led to a failure of                  these policy initiatives. These failures have manifested into further exposures.

         There is a lack of a funded plan to deal with:

  • Asbestos “in situ” and landfill in hospitals increasing the risk to staff and patients
  • Asbestos in landfill and “in situ” in schools leading to increased risk for staff, students and parents\Asbestos in residential premises leading to exposure to residents and workers
  • Asbestos inadequately managed and removed from workplaces leading to repeated exposures
  • Inadequate facilities and incentives for the safe identification, removal and disposal of asbestos from our environment.

 Recommendation

Unions NSW proposes the establishment of an asbestos eradication fund that is levied on the construction materials so that these functions of asbestos removal can be adequately resourced.

Unions NSW proposes that all asbestos eradication be given full tax deductibility status to encourage asbestos removal from residential as well as commercial and investment premises that already have this status.

A nominal amount of 1 cent in every ten dollars would be able to raise funds in multiples of the $100 million.

Safe Work Australia, Asbestos-related Disease Indicators, May 2014

Safety and Workers Compensation Policies

  1. That the ACTU pursue with the current and future federal governments an Asbestos Eradication Fund to remove asbestos from our environment and reduce further exposure (Attached Paper)

     2.  That the ACTU endorse the Unions NSW Workers Compensation Principles document as part of a national charter of workplace           rights.

     3.  That the Harmonised WHS laws be amended to include a chapter on psychological risk management including the risks of                    violence, bullying, work overload, work design, and other occupational stressors.

     4.  That the harmonised WHS laws be amended to include a chapter on risk management of biological hazards

     5.  That the harmonised WHS laws be amended to enshrine a requirement for the precautionary principle to be applied for new                 and untested risks.

     6.  That the harmonised WHS laws be amended to include in category 1 the charge of gross negligence with appropriate penalties           commensurate with the Crimes Act.

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

“Unions NSW tables the Asbestos Eradication Fund Policy and the Safety and Workers Compensation Policy.

Affiliates are invited to submit comments to Shay Deguara prior to next week’s meeting where the policies will be put forward for endorsement.”

Com. B. Holmes seconded the resolution.

CARRIED

 

REPORT:

1.  Women In Male Dominated Occupations and Industries (WIMDOI)

Kate Minter reported on the WIMDOI conference coming up on 4-6 May 2015. It is the 21st year the conference has been held, with it being held at Trades Hall in Sydney. About 70 women are expected from male dominated industries or occupations across the country. It isn’t too late to register participants. Affiliates are also encouraged to attend the welcome reception for delegates being held in the early evening of Monday 4 May 2015 and hosted by Unions NSW.

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and adopted”.

 Com. J. Wright seconded. 

CARRIED

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.    CFMEU   Trivia night & BBQ- Friday 17th April    6:30pm for 7pm
        Concord Bowling Club,  1 Clemont Ave, Concord
        $25 per person ($200 per table) Fundraiser for Worker Rights in Colombia.

        All proceeds will be contributed to Sinaltrainal Food and Production Workers Union of  Colombia

2.   Women In Male Dominated Occupations and Industries (WIMDOI)

      3 Day Conference 4th to 6th May 2015   - 9:30am –5pm
      ($195 per person)  Trades Hall, Auditorium

  • WIMDOI - Women in Male Dominated Occupations and Industries for union women in male dominated occupations and industries.
  • WIMDOI has been going for over 20 years and it’s a chance for like- minded women to get together and share experiences, learn new skills and gain valuable information to assist in the workplace.  

      Registrations are closing soon: http://www.mua.org.au/wimdoi_2015

     For More information – contact Kate Minter (kminter@unionsnsw.org.au)

 

3.  International Day of Mourning 2015

     You are invited to attend International Day of Mourning with families who have lost loved ones

     Tuesday, 28th April 11.45am for 12:00pm -  Reflection Park, Little Pier Street, Darling Harbour

4.   May Day Toast - Friday 1st May 2015 6:00pm at The Workers, 292 Darling Street, Balmain

      $50:00 per person - RSVP is essential

       For enquiries and to book phone (02) 9881 5999 or  Email cdelprat@unionsnsw.org.au

 

5.    May Day Rally -  Sunday 3rd May 2015 -  11am Sydney Town Hall

 

6.    Women In Super – Mother’s Day Classic - Sunday, 10th May 2015 – The Domain, Sydney & Parramatta Park

        Walk or run 4km or 8km It doesn’t matter how you walk or run.  It Just matters why!  Walk or run for breast cancer research. 

        Registration open – Nationwide events.

        Emma Maiden and Rita Mallia will be running again so please either join them or sponsor them.

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

 

7.     Welcome Refugees - Rally and March “ Close Manus, Close Nauru”

         Peace, No Racism 

         Ian Rintoul briefly addressed council on the importance of this event.


MEETING ADJOURNED AT  6:15PM

Tagged: Minutes

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