UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 19th NOVEMBER 2015 
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY 5:30PM.

The President, Com M. Issanchon occupied the Chair.

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

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The President, Com. I. 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 Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

“That the minutes from the meeting of 12th November 2015 as circulated be received”.

Com. M. Styli seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the minutes of the meeting of 12th November 2015 be adopted”.

 Com. J. Knight seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:  The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) appointing Tracy LeFevre in place of John Owen for tonight’s meeting.

From:  The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) appointing Scott Bean in place of Russ Collison for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

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

 Com. R. Fortescue seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: R. Collison, B. Holmes, R. Mallia, C. Boyle.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the apologies be received and accepted”.                              

 Com P. Noack seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE: 

1.  From NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF):- The recent tragic global events have again highlighted the need to show compassion for refugees around the world.  Australia and its Unions must be part of that response.

This week has seen our teacher colleagues in Queensland take action with their school community to stand up and speak out against our Government’s harsh detention regime and its impact on one of their students, Mojgan, a refugee student who is now facing deportation back to Iran just months before completing Year 12. This has followed other actions by doctors, border force employees etc.

The latest statistics (September 30) showed that there are currently 94 children held in Australian funded detention facilities in Nauru and 113 children held in detention facilities on Australia’s mainland.

These statistics above will soon go up – as many pregnant women give birth – their babies will be born into Australia’s immigration detention system. Many families detained in Australia who have come here for medical treatment are to be removed to Nauru.

The average time spent in detention, according to the Government’s own statistics, has now reached 417 days, which is quite simply – unacceptable.

7000 refugees will arrive in NSW from Syria over the next 2 years. They will have a permanent residence visa which will allow them to stay in Australia indefinitely, work and study in Australia, register for Medicare, access certain social security payments, apply for Australian citizenship (after they have lived in Australia for four years), propose family members for permanent residence and attend English language classes.

The same compassion and human rights must be afforded to all those refugees who are seeking asylum in Australia.

The NSWTF urges the support from Unions NSW and its members for a rally prior to Christmas under the banner of Unions for Refugees.

The NSWTF and community members are crying out for us to lead the way and show strong support for this vital social justice issue.

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

“The correspondence be received and Unions NSW will convene a meeting of affiliates and Unions for Refugees to discuss a proposed rally in support of refugees.”

 Com. J. Dixon seconded.

 CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.   Build a Better Future Campaign

Com. E. Maiden reported on the activities and events of the Build a Better Future campaign. They included a doorknock in Reid on Saturday re climate change and penalty rates and the final ChAFTA debate in Gilmore. In coming weeks each of the target seats will be doing stunts about penalty rates, like in Macquarie where they are asking people to sign a letter to Santa that all they want for Xmas is penalty rates. There will be people dressed as Santa and the letter will be delivered to the local MP closer to Xmas. The target seat coordinators will also be organising a Christmas get together in each of the seats to celebrate the wins this year. The campaign will ramp up again from mid-January 2016.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:--

That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. B. Smith seconded.

 CARRIED

2.   RPA Parking Rally

Com. J. Kiejda, Assistant Secretary, NSW Nurses & Midwives Association reported on the cross-union Rally held on Tuesday at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Over 500 employees attended the rally in protest against the NSW Government’s recent privatisation of the multi-storey car park at the campus.

The lease for the existing multi-storey car park was recently taken over by Dr Wenkart. He has increased the daily car parking rate from $25 per fortnight to $50 per fortnight.  The car park spaces will be slashed from 1200 to 600 spaces.

This will further exacerbate the daily battle between staff, patients and the community for parking and leave the 1500 staff currently on a waiting list for a parking space completely shut out.  It already takes half an hour to find a car spot and this will only get worse. The site for the new car park will take at least 12 months to build and will only have 1000 spaces.

It is not practical for staff to ride bikes to work as there are no shower facilities or change rooms for staff.  Nor is it safe for shift workers to be walking a distance to their cars or making their own way to stations or buses.  RPA hospital used to be a top recruiting hospital for graduate nurses but not now. Because of the lack of parking the hospital is now number four.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received and adopted”.

 Com. J. Kiejda seconded.

 CARRIED

3.   Rally Against Forced Council Amalgamation

Com. M. Morey reported on the rally held yesterday 18th November to stop forced council amalgamations.  Many speakers highlighted the issues of amalgamation.  Alan Jones, commentator on radio 2GB, spoke for 40 minutes and went to town on Barry O’Farrell, the NSW Government and O’Toole but not Mike Baird, Premier of NSW.  The fight continues on council amalgamation.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. A. Claassens seconded.

CARRIED

4. Mark Lennon

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon announced his intention not to seek re-election at the Annual General Meeting in February 2016. He apologised to anyone he had not had the opportunity to tell personally. The Secretary said there comes a time in your life where we need to move on and this time has come.   He noted in January he will have been at Unions NSW for 28 years, 7 of them as Secretary. It has been an absolute privilege and honour to have served as Secretary. He committed to saying more at his final meeting as Secretary in two weeks’ time.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received”.

Com. V. Faulkner seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be noted”.

  Com. L. Brenner seconded.

  CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 1.  Centennial Concert – Joe Hill Union organiser and songwriter
      100th Anniversary of his execution   Featuring George Mann (USA) Saturday 21st November @ 7:30pm
      Admission $20   Concession: $15 -  Teachers Federation Auditorium   37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills

2.   Maitland Goes Pink – REAL MEN WEAR PINK
      Friday 27th November 12 noon to 2pm   St Mary’s Church, 68 Church St, Maitland. 
      We would like to get have the Maitland community behind this initiative, to raise essential funds for life-changing breast cancer.

3.   Union Summer 2016 
      1st to 19th February 2016 -  Applications are open at www.unionsummer.org.au
      If your union is interested in hosting an intern  please contact Sarah Davis or Cameron Ritchie at Unions NSW on 9881 5999.

4.   The People’s Climate March  -  Sunday 29 November -12:30pm for 1pm  
      Assemble at Archibald Fountain, Hyde park and march to the Domain. As world attention is focused on the Paris    international climate talks, we will mobilise and rally all over Australia to:

      Further information: Peoplesclimate.org.au

5.   INVITATION     Movie Screening next week  ‘THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING’. The documentary film asks the question              “What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

       Screening will follow the Council Meeting tonight in the Auditorium

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:01 PM

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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