UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2016
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

The President, Com. J. Kiejda occupied the Chair.

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

 

 

OPENING OF THE MEETING:
The President, Com. J. Kiejda 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 3 November 2016 as circulated be received”.

Com.  R. Long (NSWTF) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:                          

That the minutes of the meeting of 3 November 2016 be adopted”.

Com. P. Byrne (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:  Apologies were received and accepted for: J. Dixon (NSWTF), R. Collison (AWU), B. Holmes (NSWNMA), B. Smith (SDA), R. Tonkli (SDA), A. Claassens (RTBU).

The Secretary, Com. M Morey moved:      

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

CARRIED

SPECIAL GUEST:

The Hon Luke Foley MP – Opposition Leader

The Opposition Leader contacted the Secretary, Com. M. Morey about whether he could address council to thank the affiliates for their involvement in the great result in the Orange By-election.

Mr Foley noted that on his many visits to Orange he would meet up with Com. Brock Skelton (AWU) who was highlighting issues around using Australian steel and Com. Mark Buttigieg (ETU) who was co-ordinating the union campaign and other representatives from the health unions who were talking to locals regarding hospital privatisation.

He said the result in Orange is one to be proud of. Premier Baird was once the most popular leader in Australia and now he is a liability. The Orange result comes on the back of NSW Labor winning a majority of the seats in the federal election and massive swings to Labor in council elections.

The result in Canterbury and Wollongong were also fabulous. 65% as primary vote to Labor in Canterbury and over 50% primary in Wollongong where there’s a history of independent Lord Mayors winning the seat. Labor is committed to saving our steel industry. We commit to 90% Australian steel in government projects. We also commit that public hospitals will be run as public hospitals under a State Labor Government.

Mr Foley thanked affiliates again for all their hard work in Orange and the other seats. He said the union movement is an “on-the-ground” campaigning force to be reckoned with.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey thanked Luke Foley and noted that Premier Baird is no longer “Teflon Mike”. He doesn’t care about people; only the big end of town. The people of NSW know when someone is trying to fool them. Orange showed that. It was a great effort by the unions on the ground and wonderful to have Luke here recognising that work.

 
GUEST SPEAKER: 

Sebastian Brandt, Elektrikerna Electricians Union, Sweden

The Secretary. Com. M. Morey introduced guest speaker, Sebastian Brandt to address council.

Sebastian said how he is a 33-year-old Electrician from Southern Sweden and Youth Secretary at LO Skane – Regional Branch of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (TUC). He is an activist and Regional Safety Officer for Elektrikerna (Swedish Electricians Union). He is responsible for 4,500 Union Members Safety.

He has represented his Union at major International Asbestos Ban Conferences in Vienna and now Australia. Sebastian told how when he worked at the university hospital, they found asbestos in the ceiling and all had to be sent for medical testing because they had been exposed. Asbestos is still being imported to Sweden. There is little WHS education during trade training unfortunately.

Com. Brad Parker (CFMEU) spoke telling how he met Sebastian in Vienna on a TUC delegation.

REPORTS: 

1.   Orange By-Election

Com. M. Buttigieg (ETU) addressed council. He noted how proud he was when asked to co-ordinate this campaign. It was 4 weeks long, so short and sharp with great buy-in from affiliates.

He campaigned on the issues that matter to members. Voters felt a huge disenfranchisement from their elected representative. The campaign showed that when the trade union management pulls together and runs campaigns like this, it works.

Com Brock Skelton (AWU) also addressed council and commended Com. Mark Buttigieg on his co-ordination of the campaign. Brock was born and raised in Orange and has never seen a better ground campaign.

 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.    

 Com. D. McKinley (ETU) seconded.

 CARRIED

 2.    We Won’t Wait – Sydney Vigil

Com. Helen Westwood (ASU) reported that the ACTU is currently running a Test Case in the Modern Award Review to have 10 days paid domestic violence leave included in all Modern Awards. This is an important step in ensuring universal access to paid domestic violence leave.  Hearings began this week and Monday 14 November was declared a national day of action to support the case.

Rallies and vigils took place at the front of the Fair Work Commission in every capital city.  NSW held a vigil on Monday 14 November at the front of the Fair Work Commission (80 William Street, East Sydney) with support from affiliated unions.

The vigil acknowledged women who experience violence and a flower was laid for each of the 65 women who have been killed by violence so far this year. The ASU and affiliates are also campaigning for DV Leave to be included in the NES. To support this campaign there will be 16 days of activism from 25 November 2016 – 9 December 2016 culminating in the COAG meeting. Further details will be circulated.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.    

Com. R. Martin (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

3.   Where’s my Bus?

Com. M. Yaager reported on the Where’s my Bus? Campaign.  This is a combined campaign of the RTBU, AMWU, ASU and Professionals Australia. On Wednesday morning Unions NSW, along with Retired Unionists, and the RTBU went out to Cremorne Junction – Military Road and campaigned at three popular bus stops talking with commuters about the NSW Government’s plan to privatise bus services and what this will mean for passengers and their bus journeys.

Commuters were given flyers and were asked to join the campaign and to also sign a petition to have the matter debated in Parliament. With a 7:00am start the action went through to 8:30am to capture the morning rush. The campaigning blitz attracted Channel 7 and 9 news outlets filming the campaign in action as well as the reaction from commuters.  The campaign continued Wednesday afternoon at Railway Square as well as Thursday and they will be out again on Friday.

The campaign continues and affiliates should contact Mary Yaager or Salim Barbar if they would like to get involved.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the report be received and noted”.

Com. M. Cartwright (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  United Voice - Equal Pay Conference
Friday 18 November 2016 The Vibe Hotel, 111 Goulburn Street, Sydney
Van Badham, Columnist with The Guardian is the key note speaker.

Speakers on the three panels are:

Sally McManus Vice President, ACTU;
Libby Lyons, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency;
Lina Cabaero, Coordinator, Asian Women at Work;
Eva Cox, Academic and Author;
Melanie Fernandez, Campaigns Manager NSW Council of Social Services. 

A light lunch will be provided.

For more information about this campaign go to www.bigsteps.org.au.  To register for the event, go to bigsteps.org.au/equalpayevent or contact Georgia Potter Butler on Georgia.potterbutler@unitedvoice.org.au

2.  Industrial Seminar The gig-economy, thinking beyond labour Law
 Thursday, 24th November at 2.00pm-4.00pm in the Trades Hall Auditorium, Lower Ground Floor, Trades Hall, Sydney. (entry via 377 Sussex Street).Guest speakers will be:-

Josh Bornstein - Employment Law issues and aspects
John Buchanan - ‘Challenges to the traditional model of collectivism posed by the ‘gig’ Economy and its boosters’.
 

All welcome but please RSVP to Rose Docwra via email rose@unionsnsw.org.au 

For further information please contact Linda Carruthers at Unions NSW.

3.  UNION PRIDE LAUNCH
When: Thursday 24th November
Venue: Trades Hall Atrium
Time: 6pm – 8pm

Special Guest Speaker:  Tiernan Brady – YES Equality Campaign Ireland

RSVP essential: events@unionsnsw.org.au

More information: Salim Barbar: 9881 5999

Light refreshments and Finger food will be served


4.  FSU/Westpac Annual White Ribbon Breakfast
When:  Tuesday 29 November 2016
Time: 7:30am – 9:00am
Venue: Level 28, Tower Two International Towers Sydney, 200 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

Cost: $40 per person.   

RSVP Has been extended to tomorrow, Friday 18 November to Amelia Clancy, FSU  amelia.clancy@fsunion.org.au


5.The NTEU Lecture
Reviving Civic Culture: The Role of Universities. “

Professor Dennis Altman - Professional Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University

Thursday 1 December 2016 at 5:30pm

Guthrie Theatre, Peter Johnson Building, UTS, Level 3, Building 6, 702 Harris St Ultimo.  Please contact NTEU to RSVP

6. Invitation to Book Launch: The Memoirs of Tom and Audrey McDonald
Date: Thursday 1st December
Time: 5pm for 5:30pm
Venue: Trades Hall Atrium, 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney

MC: Tony Maher, National President, CFMEU

RSVP: Jessica D’Arienzo via email: jdarienzo@psa.asn.au or by telephone: 0428 410 748

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:25PM

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