UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 27 APRIL 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

The Acting President, Com. P. Noack occupied the Chair.

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

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The Acting President, Com. P. Noack 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 6 April 2017 as circulated be received”.

 Com. B. Smith (SDA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:                              

“That the minutes of the meeting of 6 April 2017 as circulated be adopted”.

Com. B. Smith (SDA) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: J. Kiejda (President), J. Dixon (NSWTF),R. Collison (AWU), R. Tonkli (SDA), T Costa (Unions NSW), G. Kelly (USU).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:       

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. A. Claassens (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:  NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association: Advising of changes to their delegation for the remainder of 2017; B. Holmes, J. Kiejda, E. Baldwin, W. Baxter, P. Byrne, R. Collopy, T. Hoffman, M. Kearin, R. Martin,  N. Mason, T. O’Grady, D. Ravlich, H. Rebeiro, J. Roden, R. Di Statso, M. Whaites, A. Whelan.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:     

“That the credentials be received and accepted”.

Com. A. Claassens (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE:
Com. B. Smith (SDA) asked if the Secretary was aware that Bert Collins had written an article in the Sydney Morning Herald regarding the issue of trading on Anzac Day.  The Secretary said he was unaware of the article. That Bert is a great SDA member and he will circulate copies.

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From: NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association:-  regarding the inclusion of shift workers in the Inner West Council’s Affordable Housing Policy.  The pressures facing working families in Sydney are compounded by the difficulty securing safe, affordable and permanent housing, close to where people work.

The NSWNMA represents over 65,000 nurses and midwives across NSW and our members work in all healthcare settings.  The range of skills and salaries for these nurses and midwives varies but many of our members, like other workers in NSW, face housing pressures and some are in very precarious positions.

36.1% of respondents to our affordable housing survey had changed jobs and/or relocated due to issues obtaining affordable housing and 315 members indicated that they would like to participate in an affordable housing reference group.

Our recent work with the IWC has demonstrated that Unions can drive change in this space.

The IWC recently adopted an Affordable Housing Policy.  The draft Policy had referenced ‘key workers’. After consultation with Unions NSW and NSWNMA, the Policy was amended in order to ‘avoid any exclusivity with respect to employment categories (and) the term ‘very low, low and moderate income earners’ was substituted for ‘key workers’’ (Inner West Council supplementary items, 28 March 2017, p.4).

As well as making a submission to IWC, members of NSWNMA spoke at the Council meeting.

The Council was subsequently convinced and amended the Policy to add shift workers as an additional target group.  This shows that Unions have the ability to advocate for affordable housing and for their members in a number of ways.

As part of the Sydney Alliance, Unions NSW and many affiliates are engaged in a Sydney wide affordable housing campaign.  The Sydney Alliance is holding an Affordable Housing Assembly on 4 May 2017 at Eastwood Uniting Church, 16 Lakeside Road, Eastwood from 6.30 to 8.30pm.  The NSW Planning and Housing Minister, Mr Anthony Roberts MP will be present and the Sydney Alliance estimates that at approximately 250 people form 140 Sydney postcodes will attend the Assembly.

The NSWNMA thanks Unions NSW for their ongoing support for all affiliates on the issue of affordable housing and requests Unions NSW maintain its commitment to this issue for union members and our communities.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved the Executive recommendation:
                    
“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW thanks the NSWNMA for their commitment to the issue of affordable housing.

Unions NSW congratulates the NSWNMA on winning a change to the Inner West Council policy that will benefit their members and other shift workers trying to afford housing near where they work.

Affiliates are also encouraged to attend the Sydney Alliance Affordable Housing Assembly on 4 May”.

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  From: Public Service Association (PSA) - raise their concerns in respect to the role of First State Super in the recent privatisation of the Land Titles Registry.  Specifically, PSA wish to raise the concerns of PSA Members in respect to the conduct of Board members who have been appointed by Unions NSW as the appointing entity.

The recent privatisation of the Land Titles Registry involved a number of consortiums engaging in an active bidding process over many months. Each consortium actively engaged with the NSW Treasury in the bidding process. It is disingenuous to suggest that it was solely a decision of government.

The PSA believe that the Berejiklian Government has used First State Super as a Trojan horse in this process in an attempt to legitimise the privatisation of a critical public service that was widely opposed in the community.

First State Super has twelve Board members. Four of the Board members were appointed with the Department of Premier and Cabinet and NSW Treasury as the appointing entity and four of the Board members were appointed with Unions NSW as the appointing entity. The remaining Board members are Victorian appointees, two of those being from union backgrounds and two from employer backgrounds. 

The PSA holds great concerns for future privatisations and the role of First State Super and other funds. It is critical that Board members who are appointed due to their senior role within the union movement should act in the best interests of union members.

The role that First State Super has played in the privatisation of the Land Titles Registry has caused widespread anger amongst PSA members. 

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW calls on all Board members of superannuation funds who have been appointed from union ranks to act in the best interests of all union members and make ethical investment decisions”. 

Com. S. Little (PSA) seconded.

CARRIED 

3.  From: Professionals Australia - Further to Professional Australia’s earlier report on Chemist Warehouse, we write to thank Unions NSW, officials, volunteers and affiliates for their assistance with our organising activity on Sunday 23 April.

While we are yet to finalise details of all outcomes on Sunday it is clear we have now made a good start in our efforts to organise pharmacists in Chemist Warehouse, who, as you know are the lowest paid health professionals in the country and are threatened with a pay cut of up to $6,000 per annum.

REPORTS:

1. Patrick's Dispute
Com. Paul McAleer, Sydney Branch Secretary MUA reported on the Patrick’s dispute. He said Patricks are subleasing an area of the yard to their owner, Qube, and are saying it is covered by a different award.  The law is complex in this area but the Act offers little protection for workers.  The issue came to a head 1½ weeks ago, even though the union has been trying to get the dispute in the FWC for months. The EBA has a status quo clause yet orders have been made against them.  Workers are being faced with gaol and the union with fines.

Lastly, Com. Paul McAleer said he would like to acknowledge George Cotsis and thank him for his ongoing work with the May Day Committee and his significant work over many years making May Day a success.  Regrettably George has been in hospital and unfortunately will miss May Day Toast and May Day march this year.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and adopted”.

Com. P. McAleer (MUA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the May Day Committee be asked to write to George Cotsis to acknowledge and thank him for his ongoing work with the May Day Committee and his significant work over many years making May Day a success.  While he may be unable to attend the May Day Toast this year, he will be acknowledged on the night.”

Com. P. McAleer (MUA) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  Returning Officer's Report

Unions NSW Nominations
Com. V. Falconer advised in accordance with Rule 24 of Unions NSW Rules, nominations will open at 9:00am on Friday 28 April 2017 and close at 4:00pm on Friday 12 May 2017 for the following position:

VICE PRESIDENT: (1) to be elected

Nominations should be on the prescribed form available from the Secretary.

Should a ballot be necessary it will be held on Thursday 18 May 2017 between 5:00pm and 7:00pm

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. V. Falconer (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  International Day of Mourning Service
Invitation to join families and friends who have lost loved ones as a result of workplace accidents or an illness acquired at work.

Sydney: Friday 28 April, 11:45am for 12:00 Noon at Reflection Park, Darling Harbour

Blacktown Council: Fri 28 April, 9:30am-10:00am Blacktown Showground, Reflection Pool (near café).

Central Coast:   Fri 28 April, 11:45am for 12 Noon Ourimbah Wall of Remembrance, Chittaway Rd, Ourimbah

Wollongong:  Fri 28 April, 9:30am outside Wollongong City Council, Burelli St

Newcastle:  Fri 28 April, 11am, Workers Memorial Stone, Foreshore Drive.

2.  May Day Toast
Monday 1st May 2017 from 6pm

Venue:  MUA office

3.  May Day – Sunday 7 May 2017

March for Equality & Your Rights@Work
Hyde Park North from 12 noon then March

4.  Mother’s Day Classic – Walk or run  Sunday 14 May 2017

From 6am  Domain, Art Gallery Road or Parramatta Park
Unions NSW has again entered a team in the Mother’s Day Classic
Unionists can REGISTER for the event (make sure you click JOIN A TEAM, then select UNIONS NSW) here: http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/

Unionists can DONATE to the team here: https://mothersdayclassic17.everydayhero.com/au/unions-nsw#/?_k=lnf6ek

We have already raised $5481.80 and No.9 on the Leader board

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:10 PM

 

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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