UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES -MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2018
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

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

PRESENT:  M.Morey (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 14 December 2017 as circulated be received.”

Com. P. Byrne (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:                       

“That the minutes of the meeting of 14 December 2017 as circulated be adopted.” 

Com. M. Kearin (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS FOR THE ENSURING YEAR:

From:  Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch: appointing: Natalie Lang, Judith Wright, Angus McFarland, Lauren Hutchins and Tom Patton as delegates for 2018 and; Patrick Bates, Divina Blanca, Robert Coluccio,       Tegan Cone, Ken Davis, Monica Dos Santos, Rhiannon Edmonds, Linda Everingham, Lesley Gruit, Di Horafios, Alex Marsh, Amanda Perkins, Jan Primrose, Graham South, Mal Tulloch, Isabelle Whitington and Paul Yiallouros as alternate delegates.

From:  Electrical Trades Union of Australia, NSW Branch: appointing: Dave McKinley, Mark Buttigieg, John Knight and Mary Stylli.

From:  Fire Brigade Employee’s Union: appointing:  Leighton Drury, Darin Sullivan, John Carlos Henry and Jim Casey.

From:  Rail, Tram & Bus Union, NSW Branch: appointing: Alex Claassens, David Woollams, Farren Campbell, Michael Cartwright, Alison Rudman, Craig Turner, Helen Bellette as delegates and Chris Doyle, Terry Missingham as alternate delegates.

From: Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Northern Mining & NSW Energy District: appointing: Shane Thompson, Peter Jordan and Grahame Kelly as delegates.

From:  Local Government Engineers Association: appointing: Gordon Brock and Justine McCarthy.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the credentials be received and the delegates welcomed.”

Com. R. Martin (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: T. Costa (UNSW), B. Holmes (NSWNMA), J. Dixon (NSWTF), G. Kelly (USU) V. Falconer (AWU), D. McKinley (ETU), J. Buhler, (AWU), B. Smith & R. Tonkli (SDA).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the apologies be received and accepted.”

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From The Rail, Trams and Bus Union, (RTBU) re Sydney and NSW Trains Enterprise Agreement Negotiations and read:  Firstly, on behalf of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, I would like to thank Unions NSW and the Combined Rail Unions who have shown solidarity and support to all rail members who are seeking to negotiate their Enterprise Agreement.

As everyone would be aware after a break-down in negotiations, a Protected Action Ballot was undertaken by which Rail, Tram and Bus Union members voted to take protected industrial action in an effort to force Management and the Government back to the negotiating table.

On Friday, 19th January, this action commenced with RTBU members wearing RTBU clothing and badges and then from midnight on Thursday, 25th January an overtime ban was put in place. This action culminated when the RTBU advised of their intention to hold a total stoppage of all rail workers for 24 hours commencing from midnight on Monday, 29th January.

This concluded with the RTBU being summonsed into Fair Work where after submissions, the Commissioner decided that the RTBU were to cease all industrial action for a period of 6 weeks.

The collective action over the past couple of weeks has seen rail workers across all classifications unite to fight for the rights of the worker. The decision set down by Fair Work clearly shows that the rules are broken and we must continue to be united and fight together to change them.

Meetings are continuing with members and the Combined Rail Unions to ascertain what direction these negotiations should be taken. I once again, thank everyone for their continued support in this campaign.

From The National Tertiary Education Industry Union, (NTEU) Re: Rail
The NTEU stands in solidarity with the RTBU and their members in their fight for wage justice and decent working conditions.  The RTBU has stood up to the Liberal NSW Government who seem determined to run down train, bus and ferry services for working people.  This government is also determined to privatise as much of the public transport system as they can by selling it to their mates. 

The decision by the Fair Work Commission to essentially ban the RTBU strike on Monday 29th January and other industrial action raises many important questions for the RTBU and the wider union movement.  The decision was based on provisions in the Fair Work Act that enable employers to seek orders for the suspension of protected industrial action where such action threatens to "endanger the welfare of part of the population” and /or “cause significant damage to the Australian economy or an important part of it”. 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved the Executive recommendation:

 “That the correspondence from the RTBU and the NTEU be received and Unions NSW will consult with the combined rail unions about a response to the attack on our right to strike. 

Unions NSW thanks all affiliates for their support involved during the Sydney and NSW Train Enterprise Agreement Negotiations to date.”

Com. A. Claassens seconded.

CARRIED BY ACCLAMATION

2.  From Senator, The Hon. Penny Wong re: Marriage Equality

Last year Australia took a historic step forward in the journey to equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer Australians. We achieved marriage equality. I am writing to personally thank you for Unions NSW’s contribution to this extraordinary achievement. 

Legislating marriage equality is recognition that our relationships are no less loving and no less deserving of recognition before the law. It is a statement to all LGBTIQ Australians that we too belong. It is a statement of acceptance.

But legislating marriage equality is not only an important achievement for LGBTIQ Australians; it is important for all Australians. It reaffirms that Australian’s value fairness and equality and that Australia is the land of the fair go.

Labor opposed a postal vote survey on marriage equality because it was costly, unnecessary, divisive and risked causing further harm to vulnerable LGBTIQ Australians. But when the postal survey become unavoidable, we knew we had to fight to win it. We also knew that winning the postal survey campaign and achieving marriage equality would require the most organized and fierce campaigning machine in Australia – the labour movement.

The labour movement delivered. We were active at every level of the campaign. We had volunteers on the ground, activists working in the Equality Campaign, union organisers and officials talking to their members, members of parliament campaigning in their electorates, and our national leaders campaigning across the country.

The labour movement delivered because fighting for equality is what we do. Whether it is campaigning for fair wages and conditions, for safe workplaces, or for protections against discrimination in the workplace and in the community.

Thank you to Unions NSW, it’s members and officials for fighting for marriage equality. The skills, expertise, experience and commitment to equality of the labour movement, have helped marriage equality and continued our movement’s tradition of creating a fairer and more equal Australia.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved the Executive recommendation:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW thanks Senator Wong for the acknowledgement of the contribution of the NSW union movement and adds our thanks to all the affiliates and activists that gave their all to the campaign.”

Com. M. Kearin (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

3.  From The Finance Sector Union (FSU) re: FTUC Leaders Arrest:

The FSU is disturbed with news that Fiji Trades Unions Congress (FTCU) General Secretary, Felix Anthony was taken in for questioning by the authorities on Wednesday 24 January 2018. 

Such intimidation tactics and the attack on unions, its members and workers by the Fiji Regime need to stop immediately.

We note that this latest development follows a very successful rally organised by the FTUC attended by over 8000 workers and citizens of Fiji in support of the locked-out Air Terminal Services employees. The FSU congratulates the ITF for the solidarity actions held in Australia and New Zealand.

The FSU stands in solidarity with the FTUC and its Leadership and we request that Unions NSW continue keeping a close watch on the latest development and condemn in the strongest possible terms any attempts by the Fiji Regime to intimidate and oppress union leaders and workers.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved the Executive recommendation:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW condemns the intimidation of the General Secretary of the Fiji Trade Union Congress. We stand in solidarity with the FTUC and its leadership. We further support their campaign against the lockout of Air Terminal Services employees, which resulted in a great win. Freedom of association is a cornerstone of democracy and the Australian union movement must continue to oppose the intimidation and oppression of union leaders and workers by the Fijian Regime.”

Further, Unions NSW will keep affiliates informed as matters develop.”

Com. A. Rudman (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

  1. Maitland Hospital Privatisation

Com. M. Yaager reported on the decision of the State Government to not go ahead with the Maitland Hospital Privatisation. It was noted the campaign commenced in 2016 when the NSW Government announced plans to privatise five public hospitals. The win is amazing as we never thought from the out-set we would win stopping the privatisations at all five hospitals.

The win for Maitland was the icing on the cake, after stopping the other four.

The success of the campaigns was due to all the health unions working together. The campaign was strategic and disciplined under the coordination of Unions NSW. We developed a comprehensive campaign strategy with the unions, their members and delegates campaigning at the local campaign level.

The members were amazing and we developed a number of leaders, not only in the workplace but in the community. It was the first time that doctors had ever been active in this type of campaign.

The community and our retirees played a significant role and we acknowledge their efforts. The campaign was won by unions working hand in hand with the community.

The Minister announced the reason they did not go ahead with their proposals was due to the strong community opposition, which we built.

The Secretary, Com M. Morey thanked the NSWNMA, HSU, ASMOF and all the committee including Mary Yaager and Salim Barbar for all their work.

The Secretary, Com M. Morey also thanked the retires and acknowledged Unions NSW had strengthened our community groups through this campaign.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted.”

Com. M. Whaites (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  Yaban Festival

Com. E. Maiden reported on the Unions NSW stall at the Yabun Festival. The Festival is the largest one day gathering and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia, held annually on 26 January.

Having a Unions NSW stall at Yabun was one of the objectives set by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee when it met last year. We had a wonderful presence among the live music, market stalls, children’s activities and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances.

Many affiliates assisted on the day. Special thanks to Natasha Flores, Kate Minter and Katie Summers from Unions NSW; Marilyn Jarvis, IEU; Sue Kealy and her daughter, USU; Shane Rolston, AWU and Committee members Charline Emzin-Boyd, Kevin Torey, Zac Wone and Mal Tulloch.”

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted.”

Com. Narelle Rich (USU) seconded. 

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Memorial Service

In memory of a great Trade Unionist, Don McDonald, AM 15/2/1938-5/1/2018.

Please join Don’s family and the CFMEU on Wednesday 28th February 2018 from 9.30am Trades Hall Auditorium, Lower Ground Floor, entry via 377 Sussex St, Sydney.

Light refreshments will be provided in The Atrium following this service

RSVP by 16/2/2018 Leza - (02) 9749 0403 or lturnbull@cfmeu.org

2.  Save The Date

Union Lawyers and Industrial Officers’ Annual Labour Law Conference 2018

Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd March 2018

Sydney Trades Hall Auditorium, Lower Ground Floor,

Entry via 377 Sussex Street, Sydney

With a line-up of specialised speakers including; Guest Speaker, Justice Iain Ross, President, Fair Work Commission.

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:10 PM

 

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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