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

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

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. Morey moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 6 July 2017 as circulated be received."

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 6 July 2017 as circulated be adopted."

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From;  Independent Education Union (IEU) appointing Mark Northam in place of J Quessy for tonight's meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the credentials be received and the delegate welcomed."

Com. J. Wright (ASU) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:   Apologies were received and accepted for: J. Kiejda (President), J. Quessy (IEU), D. McKinley (ETU).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the apologies be received and accepted."

Com. B. Smith seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1. From NSW Nurses & Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) advising that for a good forty years now our world-class public service has been white-anted and eroded by privatisations and outsourcing.  Last year, the NSWNMA needed four pages of its monthly magazine The Lamp to list the sell-offs in NSW that had happened or were in play.

This mania to inject the profit motive into all public services seemed to reach its apogee with the Baird government decision to gift five regional hospitals to the private sector.  It was an action we saw coming and we warned the community in a very high-profile campaign before the last state election what the government had in mind.  Of course, we took a lot of heat and vitriol for our position.  That has never blunted our determination to do the right thing for our patients.

Over these many decades when governments have privatised whatever they could they have never been stopped.  We have now drawn a line in the sand.  We need to be clear.  This is a very significant win.  It could never have been achieved without the full-blooded commitment of nurses and midwives, the support of their local communities and the solidarity among health unions that created the intense pressure which forced the government to back down.

We remain secure in our belief that a strong, properly resourced public health system is the foundation stone for the wellbeing of Australians.

The power of organising both members and communities has been demonstrated wonderfully at Wyong and Bowral.  As great as the victory at Wyong and Bowral is, we now need to maintain our focus to reverse the privatisations at Shellharbour and Maitland.   There is still much work to be done and the nurses and midwives at these hospitals and the communities they serve need and deserve our support.

The Berejiklian government has announced it will seek a not-for-profit organisation to build and run the new Maitland Hospital.  Do not be fooled.  This is more of the same.

Contrary to what the government claims, this is not the same relationship NSW Health has with Newcastle's Calvary Mater or Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital.  It will have the same contractual arrangements as in other public private partnership proposals, such as the new Northern Beaches Hospital.

At Maitland, not-for-profit organisations have been offered the same contract as for profit corporations, and the model will still be surplus driven.  The same dangers and threats will exist for nurses and midwives at Maitland as at the Northern Beaches Hospital. Staff will only be guaranteed employment with existing conditions for two years.  This means, after this time, staff will be forced over to a new enterprise agreement that will be unlikely to include ratios.

The NSWNMA will not back down from defending the public health system.

We congratulate Unions NSW, the Health Services Union, the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation (the Doctors Union ) and all other affiliates on their efforts and support for this campaign.

We urge Unions NSW and all our fellow affiliates to continue the battle to save our public health system from privatisation and help deliver a better public health system for the people of NSW.

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the NSWNMA, HSU,  ASMOF and affiliates for their campaign to stop the government from selling off Wyong and Bowral Hospitals.

The campaign continues for Maitland and Shellharbour and we encourage affiliates to continue their support and get behind the campaign and keep Maitland and Shellharbour in public hands".

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA)

CARRIED

2. From: Independent Education Union (IEU):  advising Unions NSW of a serious dispute which has arisen between the IEU and Catholic employers throughout NSW and the ACT.

At the heart of the dispute is the position taken by employers to refuse access to arbitration by the Fair Work Commission without the consent of both parties.  It was always the case while our members were within the NSW jurisdiction that access to arbitration was available and since our move to the Federal system, the Union had always believed this right continued.

During negotiations for previous agreements, Catholic employers had (although reluctantly) confirmed this to be the case in correspondence with the IEU.

Arbitration is seldom utilised by the Union when dealing with Catholic employers as we are generally able to conciliate matters successfully and we believe that the prospect of arbitration encourages settlement during conciliation.

The Union was alerted to a change in the employers' position earlier this year when we sought arbitration on a dispute which we had been unable to resolve at conciliation.  The Union was dismayed to hear from the employer's legal representative that consent was required for the matter to proceed.

In light of this position and the recent FWC Full Bench decision regarding the arbitration of disputes, the IEU sought to put the matter beyond doubt in our current enterprise agreement.

Employers have rejected this proposal and insisted that arbitration of a dispute would require consent of both parties.  With almost every other issue settled this intransigence has delayed the finalisation of the EA; further postponed pay increases which were due in January; and forced the Union to seek Protected Action Ballot Orders across more than 500 Catholic schools.

We find it ironic that employers have created a dispute about how disputes are settled and we seek the support of Unions NSW and affiliates for IEU members in taking action to right this wrong.

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW condemns the position taken by the employers in Catholic education not to consent to a dispute being resolved by arbitration."

Further, Union NSW calls upon the employer parties to see common sense and agree to a new enterprise agreement that respects the role of the Fair Work Commission as an arbiter of disputes as referred by either party."

Com. M. Northam seconded.

CARRIED


REPORTS:

1. Don't Sell Our Buses.
Com. M. Morey reported on the Don't Sell Our Buses Campaign and said that "already our campaign had collected 16,000 signatures from the community and commitments from ALP and the Greens for a reversal on the government's decision to privatise the inner west bus service.  Union NSW will continue to work with our affiliates in this campaign to stop the sell-off of the inner west bus services".

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted".

Com. A. Claassens (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

2. Lighting up the Black Market - Enforcing Minimum Wages
Assistant Secretary, Com. T. Costa reported on the Lighting Up the Black Market - enforcing minimum wages report published by Unions NSW.  Our research revealed there is a significant number of employers advertising jobs for below award wages and using foreign languages as a cover.  The report found temporary workers are being lured by foreign language job ads that pay well below the legal minimum wage.

Com. Costa said of 200 job ads on Chinese, Korean and Spanish foreign language websites, the report found that 78 percent of positions advertised were paying unlawfully low wages.  Businesses are criminally underpaying migrant temporary workers in the knowledge that few of them would be able to contest the wages.

The job advertisements identified an endemic underpayment of workers, particularly in cleaning, hospitality and retail industries.  Small businesses were most likely to advertise roles that paid below minimum award rates.

Swift proactive steps need to be made to stamp out exploitation and wage theft from workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted".

Com. C. Preston (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Action to Support our Hardworking Pharmacists.
Let’’s Tell Pharmacy Employers to Protect Penalty Rates
Can we do it? Yes!
Last time we made notice in front of chemist Warehouse, the pharmacy giant agreed to protect penalty rates for existing staff.
Where:  Pharmacies all around Australia - When:  Sunday 6th August 2017


2. Bluestocking Week 2017   -  Trivia night
Celebrating Women in Higher Education
Thursday 17 August from 6pm: Atrium, Trades Hall
Tables of 6
Cost: Women: $25/ea; Men: $29/ea  (accounting for the 16% gender pay gap)
Hosted by NTEU NSW. All unionists welcome
Raising funds for Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia
Details and tickets: www.nteu.org.au/nsw

3. Joint Delegates Meeting
Tomorrow - Friday, 28 July 2017 - 9:00am – 12noon
Trades Hall Auditorium, 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney

This is a unique opportunity for all delegates to hear about the campaigns   against the ABCC and Building Code, the cuts to penalty rates, the lack of wage growth, privatisation, growing inequality and more recently the domestic violence leave case, and the sustained attack by Turnbull, supported by the FWC and broken industrial laws. We need to come together as a movement and develop a united response to win and turn things around for all our members and potential members.

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:10 PM

Tagged: News  /   Minutes

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