UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2016
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

The Acting President, Com. Genevieve Kelly occupied the Chair.

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

OPENING OF THE MEETING: 
The Acting President, Com. Genevieve Kelly 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 15 September 2016 as circulated be received”.

Com. B. Smith (SDA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-                        

 “That the minutes of the meeting of 15 September 2016 be adopted”.

 Com. P. Noack (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:  Apologies were received and accepted for J. Kiejda (President), R. Mallia (CFMEU), G. Derrick (FSU), S. Turner (PSA), R. Collison (AWU), B. Holmes (NSWNMA), D. McKinley (ETU), M. Gatfield (UV). 

The Secretary, Com. M Morey moved:-      

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. B. Kruse (ASU) seconded.

CARRIED

Death Announcement – Joan Day

The Secretary Com. M. Morey said it was his sad duty to announce the passing of Joan Day our dedicated door person on Thursday Council meetings for over 20 years. Joan passed away peacefully on 9th September and her funeral was14 September.  Joan’s wish was that she didn’t want any ‘fuss’ when she passed.

We will certainly miss Joan’s smile and cheery banter and our condolences to Jack Lawrence, Joan’s steadfast friend.  We will have Motion of Condolence for Joan in coming weeks.

GUEST SPEAKER:
The Secretary Com. M. Morey introduced Mr Stuart Bell, Manager, Member Benefits Program, ACTU, to address Council on the Australian Unions Member Benefits. 

Mr Bell spoke on the key elements of the ACTUs free program for union members including, discounted movie vouchers, gift cds, attractions (eg zoo and aquariums), accommodation, cars, tyres, car hire and wine and great offers from ME Bank.  

Mr Bell encouraged all union members to take advantage of the free service and of the discounted benefits offered by Australian Unions.  All union members need to do is to register on the Australian Unions website for access.  There is also now a user friendly app. Affiliated unions can help members access these benefits by providing information in union newsletters and websites.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey thanked Stuart for sharing the information on the benefits offered to union members from the Australian Unions Member Benefits program.  We will circulate the information through social media, our website and affiliates so members can take advantage of the discounts on offer.

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From Public Service Association (PSA): - writes to thank Unions NSW and Affiliates for supporting the PSA's "Stop the Secret Sell-off" Rally.

The PSA thanked Unions NSW and its affiliates for the fantastic support during the lead up to the “Stop the Secret Sell Off” rally yesterday and for promoting the rally and also posting information and support on social media networks.

Thank you also to those unions who attended the rally in support which contributed to a great feeling of solidarity on the day.

With the review that Unions NSW is undertaking, the PSA rally yesterday and the Teachers’ Federation rally last week show the great united actions that can be taken with Unions NSW and its Affiliates working together in solidarity.

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

 “That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the PSA for highlighting the Government’s privatisation agenda.  We join the PSA in thanking affiliates for the show of strength and solidarity around a key issue for the union movement.”

 

Com. A. Claassens (RTBU) seconded the resolution.                    

CARRIED

2.  From NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA): - The (NSWNMA) is appalled at the sudden announcement by the NSW Government to privatise five regional public hospitals: Maitland, Wyong, Goulburn, Shellharbour and Bowral.

The government is effectively selling off public hospitals by entering into partnerships with private operators.

Our major concerns include:

  •  In June, Premier Baird introduced a regulation that terminated the redundancy entitlements of public servants who are transferred to the non-government sector.
  • Minister for Health Jillian Skinner has stipulated that only permanent staff will be offered a position, provided an equivalent job exists.  Those who are eligible will forfeit any kind of redundancy they were entitled to under the public system.
  •  Local nurses and midwives remain in the dark about their future working conditions and entitlements, with only a two-year employment guarantee and no opportunity to negotiate.  There was absolutely no warning or consultation with the NSWNMA or our members prior to the announcement.
  • We are extremely concerned about patient care in the long run, as no large private hospital operator has been prepared to agree to nurse to patient ratios anywhere in NSW.  Without these, patient safety is dependent upon budget, and now profit, to determine staffing levels.
  • By making these deals with the private sector, that do not enforce nurse-to-patient ratios, the Minister is abrogating her duty of care to the people of this state
  • There is a loss of government ministerial accountability when private operators are involved in managing government money.  Private operators owe a duty to shareholders, so have a financial responsibility to deliver profit on investment.

The NSWNMA has campaigned hard against the privatisation of public hospitals on behalf of our members but also on behalf of the community.  Privatised public hospital models have a history of failure in Australia – we know how badly Port Macquarie Base Hospital failed under a public private partnership model.

We seek the support of Unions NSW affiliates to support the rallies and forums that will be organised in a joint campaign by Union NSW and the affected health unions to inform the community about these privatisations and seek their support to mobilise their union members to these events as they occur.

Private operators promise to deliver cheaper services but then have to come back to Government to ask for more money because they underestimated demand. Governments pay up or have to take back control and pay large compensation to private companies.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW also expresses its opposition to the privatisation of the five regional hospitals announced by the government.The first meeting of a joint campaign committee met this week and Unions NSW will keep affiliates informed of developments”.

 Com. Phillipe Millard (NSWNMA) seconded the resolution.                    

 CARRIED

3.  From Independent Education Union (IEU): - Unions NSW Women’s Committee hosted ‘Women at the Table’, the first in a series of lunch time seminars. Women at the Table is an opportunity for women unionists to learn from each other, with seminars focussed on a particular campaigns or tactics a union is using to organise.

This week’s seminar was on the Workplace Gender Equality Data. Madeleine Johnston and Robyn Fortescue presented on how the AMWU have used the data to map the size and make up of employers they are targeting, as well as pushing employers to improve gender based outcomes in bargaining.

The seminar was well attended by union women across the movement, and included a lively discussion with unions exchanging different approaches and barriers the have found in using the WGEA data.

IEU congratulates the Unions NSW Women’s Committee on this new initiative, and encourage Unions to promote the event to their women organisers and officers.

The next seminar will be held on 16 November where the AWU will be presenting on the Hair Stylists campaign and new approaches to online organising. 

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

 “That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the Women's Committee and its convenor Kate Minter for the Women at the Table initiative and its first seminar on using WGEA data for organising.  Affiliates are encouraged to get involved and contact Kate Minter to find out more.”

 

 Com. A. McEwan (IEU) seconded the resolution.                    

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.   Airtasker

Com. K. Minter, Research Officer reported on the Unions NSW report – Innovation or Exploitation - Busting the Airtasker Myth. The report is a case study of Airtasker, looking specifically at the industrial implications for workers.

Airtasker is the leading provider of online facilitated task-based work, and is representative of the industrial risks associated with the disintegration of traditional jobs into short term tasks, often referred to as the ‘gig economy’.

The Unions NSW report explores the ways Airtasker has used the cloak of innovation to pursue archaic and out-dated labour practices. Airtasker engages workers as independent contractors enabling them to circumvent minimum wage rates, worker’s compensation and basic employee safety nets.

Current legislation does not acknowledge or protect the employment conditions of gig-economy workers, a legal loop-hole companies like Airtasker use to their advantage.

The Unions NSW report is designed to start a conversation about the legislative and policy reforms needed to ensure equity and balance are upheld in the changing world of work. Technology has unlocked new, innovative and efficient ways of working and doing business, however, common ground needs to be found in promoting fairness for workers.

The Secretary thanked Com. Minter and commended her and Com. Costa on their hard work in putting this important report together.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.     

Com. Paul Noack (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  RALLY TO STOP THE TPP

The National Parliamentary inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between Australia, the US and 10 other Pacific Rim countries will be in Sydney on September 26.

Come and send a message to members of Parliament!  - Monday 26 September - 12.30pm - 1.30pm

 

1 Bligh St, Sydney - Outside the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices

Bring: Flags and banners

2,  Save Sydney College of Arts (SCA) – Rally & BBQ

Saturday 1 October @ 11am- Callan Park, Rozelle from

Come along and support the ongoing fight to save SCA - Join the rally and BBQ – bring your friends, families & dogs.

3.  Let’s have a ‘CUB’ Free BBQ – Grand Final Weekend 1 & 2 October

Affiliates are asked to have a CUB –Free BBQ and ensure their
esky has no CUB products in it.

Affiliates are asked to take a photo of their CUB free esky and upload on social media with the #boycottcub   Also they can register their CUB free BBQ online - http://www.australianunions.org.au/cubfreebbq

4  The Future of Work - How can we make it Better?

6:30pm Thursday 6 October, Atrium Sydney Trades Hall

Following Thursdays Council meeting.

5.  The Jeff Shaw Memorial Lecture - 13th October 2016

The Memorial Lecture will be held at The Athenian Greek Restaurant -
11 Barrack Street, Sydney

Guest Speaker: Sharan Burrow, General Secretary ITUC

RSVP by Friday 7th October            

Ticket Sales Online Only - http://bit.ly/JSML2016

More details or dietary requirements email:  Events@unionsnsw.org.au

6.  CFMEU - TRIVIA NIGHT Fundraiser for Worker Rights in Colombia

All proceeds will be contributed to Sinaltrainal Food & Production Workers Union of Columbia

Friday 21st October   6pm- 11pm

Concord Bowling Club, 1 Clermont Ave, Concord

$25 per person ($200 per table of 8)

Registration forms are available tonight or contact CFMEU Accounts Dept

7.  Save the Date – Equal Pay Dinner - 17 November 2016

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 5:58PM

 

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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