UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 17th SEPTEMBER 2015
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY 5:30PM.

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

PRESENT:  M. Lennon [Secretary], M. Morey [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. Lennon moved:-

“That the minutes from the meeting of 10th September 2015 as circulated be received”.

 Com. R. Fortescue seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the minutes of the meeting of 10th September 2015 be adopted”.

Com. B. Smith seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the minutes of the meeting of 10th September 2015 be adopted”.

 Com. B. Smith seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:  The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) appointing Graydon Welsh in place of Mark Edwards for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

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

 Com. S  Murphy seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Were received and accepted for: M. Issanchon, E. Maiden, Derrick, D. Ravlich, G. Derrick, J. Kiejda, B. Holmes, Genevieve Kelly, P.Tonkli.  

The Secretary, M. Lennon moved:-

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com A. Claassens seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1. From:  The Australian Manufacturers Workers’ Union (AMWU): - advising that members employed by Broadcast Transmission Services P/L in four states commenced industrial action on 12/09/15 in support of their claim for an enterprise agreement (they are currently employed on common law contracts). The action notified was indefinite ban on being on call; ban on overtime for a seven day period; ban on work outside 9am to 5pm for a seven day period; 24 hour stoppage commencing Monday 14/09/15 at 7am.

BTS has responded by locking out the employees until 7am on 14th October 2015. There are 10 members locked out in 4 states: NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.

BTS is a joint venture company 70% owned by WIN and 30% by PRIME. Members undertake scheduled and emergency maintenance responding to faults of transmission towers and infrastructure, and includes working at remote locations.

In the second half of last year BTS removed the company provided fuel card from these employees, which was included in their contract of employment. Whilst BTS increased the vehicle allowance (members used their own vehicles), members are concerned that the fuel required to do their job may have to come out of their own pockets. Members view the removal of the fuel card as a significant loss of an employment condition.

The BTS members want to protect their conditions of employment through a certified agreement that includes a fair rate of pay that respects their skills, proper payment for overtime (currently an allowance for working up to 300 hours overtime per annum calculated as 15% of total annual salary; a guaranteed wage increase; on call payment and payment for working away from home in recognition of their job requirements and a proper response to their claim in relation to payment of work related fuel/oil costs.

They want the certainly of terms and conditions that a collective agreement will give.

The AMWU is seeking support for these members from our union comrades. We are in the process of establishing a donation and message of support social media for BTS members and ask this be distributed widely.

No worker should be starved into submission because they ask for fair wages and conditions through collective bargaining. 

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

“The correspondence be received and Unions NSW condemns Broadcast Transmission Services for locking out employees for taking legal industrial action in defence of their existing entitlements.

Further, Unions NSW encourages all affiliates to assist in providing messages of support on social media for BTS members”.

Com. R. Fortescue seconded.

CARRIED

2.  From:  The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF): - advising Unions NSW of the “Certificate of Registration Of An Industrial Organisation Of employees” certifying the registration of the Australian Education union New South Wales Teachers Federation Branch as an industrial organisation of employees under the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996.  This follows the cancellation of the registration of the New South Wales Teachers Federation.  The Australian Education union New South Wales Teachers Federation Branch is a branch of an organisation registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.

Under the Rules of the Australian Education Union New South Wales Teachers Federation Branch the organisation is to be known as the New South Wales Teachers Branch the organisation is to be known as the New South Wales Teachers Federation on certification. 

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

 “The correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the NSW Teachers Federation on completing its certification of the Australian Education Union NSW Teachers Federation Branch as a industrial organisation under the provisions of the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996 and the registration of the Australian Education Union New South Wales Teachers Federation Branch under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.”

Com. J. Owen seconded.

CARRIED

3 From: The Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU): - regarding the Peoples Climate March to be held between 27 and 29 November 2015 demonstrations will be held worldwide in support of strong action on climate change, in the lead up to the UN climate talks in Paris.

Climate change impacts disproportionally upon poor and working people. Those who make profit from dirty industry today will not be other ones who suffer the consequences in the future. On this basis alone a just transition to a cleaner economy is union business.

Furthermore, in the Australian political context the conservatives are particularly vulnerable to the well-deserved accusation that they are more concerned with protecting the short term profits of business than guaranteeing the long term future of the planet. Given recent events in Canberra, and the tension between the new Prime Minister and the ruling Coalition on this question, the climate change issue is one that can be damaging to our current anti-worker Federal Government.

Consequently, the FBEU requests that Unions NSW endorses this event, and informs affiliates to encourage members to attend. 

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

“The correspondence be received and Unions NSW condemns the new Prime Minister regarding his dishonest position on climate change in order to achieve short term personal gain rather than being a conviction politician.Further, Unions NSW supports this event and encourages affiliates to attend”.

Com. J. Casey seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1. Productivity Commission Hearing Action 

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon reported on the Productivity Commission Hearing and the theatrical event which unions held outside Grace Hotel today.  It was a ‘tongue in cheek’ demonstration with delegates dressed as millionaires in their formal attire to represent the 1% of the population.

The protest aimed to show the government the community rejects the draft findings of the Productivity Commission which has recommended a number of reforms which will drive down wages and conditions including the cutting of penalty rates.

The Secretary Com. M. Lennon stated there was a very good attendance with a number of delegates addressing the crowd including Ged Kearney from the ACTU and delegates from the MUA, TWU, SDA, NSWNMA.

At the close of the speeches a stretch limousine arrived rolling out the “red carpet” at the entrance of the Grace Hotel to chauffeur the “elite guests” back to the homes.

The Secretary Com. M. Lennon provided a special thanks to the Mary Yaager, the Unions NSW team and unions for their support in staging a successful event that gained a lot of interest and exposure in the media including the evening news.

 The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received”.

 Com. B. Smith seconded.

 “That the report be noted”

Com. P. Reid seconded.

CARRIED

2.  Build a Better Future Campaign

Assistant Secretary, Com. Mark Morey reported on the Build a Better Future Campaign – National Doorknock last weekend which was a great outcome both at a state and national level with: 

  • 1233 doorknockers  (in NSW 426)
  • 20,098 doors knocked (NSW 6447)
  • 7,285 conversations (NSW 2770)
  • 2060 Petitions signed in NSW
  • 23 electorates  (8 electorates in NSW)

Assistant Secretary, Com. Mark Morey thanked all affiliates for their support and hard work.

Assistant Secretary, Com. Mark Morey also reported on the ‘We Are Union” launch on Tuesday 8th September at the Bank Hotel, Newtown.  Over 200 people attended the launch with many signing up to join the door knocking campaign this weekend and to take action and to build a better future. 

Special thanks to Linda Carruthers from Unions NSW for her support and hard work in organising the successful event.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. J. Owen seconded.             

CARRIED

3. Equal Pay Dinner

Com. Kate Minter, Research Officer Union NSW addressed council on their successful 2nd Equal Pay Dinner held last night at The Athenian, Sydney.  180 guests mostly delegates attended the evening

Guest speakers on the night were Christian Dustun from the IEU who spoke about her experiences of underpayments and early childhood teachers’ fight for equal pay, and Rebecca Huntley, Senior Editor and Director of insights with the Mamamia Women’s Network.

This was the second annual Equal Pay Dinner. Thank you to all unions who attended the dinner.

The event was hosted by the Unions NSW Women’s Committee. A reminder to affiliates the Women’s Committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 9.30 am at Unions NSW.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.             

 Com.  J. Owen seconded

CARRIED

4.  Real Men Wear Pink

Com. Mary Yaager, Unions NSW addressed council on the upcoming event Real Men Wear Pink campaign to be launched at Trades Hall on Thursday 22nd October at 5:30pm.  Real Men Wear Pink is a fundraising initiative of the National Breast Cancer Foundation which aims to challenge men and the community to fund raise for a great cause and pink up in recognition of the women in their lives.

After years of associating the colour pink with breast cancer and women, the concept aims to challenge men to embrace the feminine shade and ruffle the masculine image of a rugged, tough, brawny man’s man.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received”.  

Com. B. Smith seconded.

 “That the report be adopted”.

 Com. A. Claassens seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1     Retired Unionists – Call to Action
       Retired Unionists Call to Action   Monday 21st September- 10am to 2pm - Trades Hall, Sydney.
       Lunch will be provided - contact Alison Rahill 9881 5923

2     Safety and Injured Workers Conference Dinner  Raising funds for the Injured Workers Support Network
       Thursday 22nd October 6pm for 6:30pm start The Red Room 99 York St, Sydney.    $140 per head.
       All profits go to the Injured Workers Support Network

3     Safety and Injured Workers Conference
       Unions NSW will be holding its Annual Safety and Injured Workers Conference
       Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd October 2015.  Please register your attendance with Rose Docwra at rdocwra@unionsnsw.org.au 

 4     Labour Day Mass  - Thursday 8th October at 6:30pm at St Peter Julian’s Church, 641 George St, Sydney.
        Followed by reception at the Atrium, Trades Hall.

5     Council Meetings

       Please note Unions NSW Council Meetings will not be held during the school holidays.

       Thursday 24 September – NO meeting (school holidays)

       Thursday 1 October – No meeting (school holidays)

      Meetings will resume Thursday 8 October.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:00 PM

      

Tagged: Minutes

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