UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES, MEETING HELD THURSDAY
27TH AUGUST 2015 IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

The President, Com. M. Issanchon occupied the Chair.

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

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The President, Com. M. 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 Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the minutes from the meeting of 20th August 2015 as circulated be received”.

 Com. G. Way seconded.

CARRIED

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

That the minutes of the meeting of 20th August 2015 be adopted”.

 Com. J. Taylor seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: M. Lennon, B. Holmes, M. Kearin, W. Baxter W. Baxter, R. Collison, P Byrne.

 

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the apologies be received and accepted”.

 Com J. Wright seconded.

 CARRIED

GUEST SPEAKER

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey introduced Mr. Rob Forsyth from Crime Stoppers and invited him to address Council.

 Mr Forsyth said Crime Stoppers operates throughout Australia and is a not-for profit organisation and has become an integral part of  community safety with the information gathered and supplied by the community essential to assisting our police agencies with  crime solving and prevention.    Crime Stoppers encourages the public to share information about unsolved crimes and future crime  that is being planned or unusual activity and all reports to Crime Stoppers are anonymous.

 Rob spoke of the increase in crime associated with the drug ice (crystal methyl amphetamine.  Ice affected patients become so  violent that police, nurses, security guards have been assaulted trying to restrain them.  Royal Melbourne Hospital is considering  CCTV, sniffer dogs to protect staff from ice users.   It was reported that the use of the killer drug ice is surging in high-risk  workplaces, where almost one in 10 employees is testing positive to illicit substances or alcohol.

 Indigenous health leaders warn ice epidemic is killing their youth. NSW Police and Crime Stoppers have launched a new advertising campaign aimed at mobilising the community in the fight against ice).  Although the campaign - "Your Call Can Make a Difference" - is state-wide, NSW Police is targeting seven communities.   The seven communities (Newcastle, Albury-Wodonga, Bellingen, Orange, Dubbo, Goulburn and Moree) have been selected because of the prevalence of ice-related crime.   In the Moree Plains local government area over the 24 months to December 2014, the number of arrests for amphetamine possession has increased by 124%.

The Acting Secretary, M. Morey thanked Rob for his informative address and said any health issue was a union issue and it impacts on all workers causing significant problems.  It is important to see this not just a legal issue but a broader health and social issue. We need a comprehensive approach especially in regional areas that provides people with not just assistance but good sustainable jobs and opportunities which provide them with hope and a purpose in their lives.

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From Newtown Labor: - The Newtown State Electorate Council of the Australian Labor Party is deeply concerned over the NSW State Government’s plans regarding the WestConnex Motorway project.  In particular, we are concerned that the plans entail the destruction of homes as well as a considerable increase in traffic volumes around an interchange to be constructed at St Peters.

This will have a profound impact on the residents in the vicinity and have a negative impact on nearby communities.  Above all, the Government has determined that the project is to proceed despite demonstrable public opposition from the residents and the local Councils.   The Minister and the head of the WestConnex Authority have dismissed the concerns of locals with sneering remarks about latte-sippers and being “privileged” inner-city residents, who want to impose their lifestyle on the rest of the city.  This gives no confidence that either of these two individuals has any desire to listen, let alone consult with local residents over their plans.

In considering this issue, the Newtown State Electorate Council felt that the strength of the unions who will cover workers who would be carrying out this work should be brought to bear on the State Government.  Accordingly, we have adopted the following resolution:

The Newtown SEC notes:

  1. That the re-elected Baird Government plans to go ahead with its plans to build WestConnex with all the attendant disastrous aspects which will affect the areas in the vicinity of the St Peter’s Interchange;
  2. That Labor policy in the recent State Electoin was that a Labor Government would not build that phase of WestConnex;
  3. That it was Labor on the Marrickville council that first raised the alarm over the Government’s plans to build the St Peter’s Interchange’;
  4. That Labor remains opposed to the Government’s plans for the St Peter’s interchange and the SEC commends the labor Member for Heffron, Ron Hoenig, for arguing that the Government must drop its plans for this aspect of the project.

Accordingly, the Newtown SEC:

  1. Affirms its support for the community campaign against the Government’s plans for WestConnex at St Peter’s and we will urge labor members and supporters to support that campaign;
  2. Will approach labor-affiliated unions which would have coverage of workers on the site to ask them to enter into consultations with local residents and their representatives, including the Marrickville Council, with a view to supporting this campaign.  The demand should be for the State Government to enter into meaningful negotiations with residents and the Council to avoid the current ill thought out plans for the interchange.  Should the State government refuse to enter into meaningful discussions with the residents and their representatives, we would ask the unions to consider imposing green bans on work associated with the site, including on the destruction of homes;
  3. Will publicise its support for the campaign and the terms of this resolution in the community, calling for the widest possible support for a well-planned and coordinated campaign to support the affected residents, a campaign that will bring residents and workers together in supporting a socially and environmentally beneficial approach to this project.

 Given the proud history of the trade union movement over decades in stepping in to support residents’ struggles against flawed development proposals, destruction of the environment and inappropriate planning, the Newtown SEC requests that Unions NSW and its affiliated unions consider the issues involved here and support the legitimate concerns might be able to play a part in applying the necessary pressure on the State Government.

 The contact for our Electorate Council on this issue is our President Richard Walsham.

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

“The correspondence be received and Unions NSW convene a meeting of the relevant unions to discuss the matters raised and any future action in relation to WestConnex.”

 

Com. P. Noack seconded.

CARRIED

2.  From United Services Union:- in response to comments made by Chairman of the Productivity Commission Peter Harris, published in the Australian Financial Review article “Award wages the cheapest way to employ people” on Thursday, 27 August 2015.

Mr Harris is quoted as saying that the award wages system is “probably the cheapest way to employ people in this country.”

While the comments were meant as a defence of the Australian award wage system, what Mr Harris has identified is the dramatic shift in power that has occurred in the Australian Industrial Relations system in the past twenty years.

Award employees are not meant to be a source of “cheap” labour for employers, but rather a source of skilled, dedicated, and hardworking employees working for a fair and reasonable wage.

While the Union fully supports, and has engaged in, the negotiation of flexible consent based awards since the early nineties, Mr Harris’ comments make it clear that the pendulum has swung too far in favour of employers.

Accordingly, the Union asks that Unions NSW supports a motion calling on the Government to provide for a fairer and more equitable Industrial Relations system that defends the rights of everyday working Australians.

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

“The correspondence be received and Unions NSW calls on the Federal Government to stop its politicisation of industrial relations by discontinuing the Royal Commission into Trade Unions and the Productivity Commission review into the industrial relations system.

Further, that the State and Federal Governments commit to establishing more equitable industrial relations systems for working people and their families.”

Com. Casey Young seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

 

1.   Build a Better Future

Assistant Secretary, Com. E. Maiden reported on Build a Better Future Campaign (BBF) Doorknock weekend to be held12th & 13th September and the significance of recruiting officials and members to doorknock the targeted eight seats to get the message out to the community.  The door knock schedule has been distributed to all unions.

This week street stalls, station handouts and community meetings have been held.  The launch of We are Union will take place on 8 September 2015 in Newtown. Unions are encouraged to get their officials and members along to these events.

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received”.

Com. R. Tonkli seconded.                               

The Acting Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be noted”.

 Com. J. Wright seconded.

CARRIED

Door Knocking Schedule – Weekend 12 & 13 September 2015

Seat

Date

Venue

Contact

Banks

Saturday 12 Sep

-         10am - 2pm

Revesby Workers Club

2B Brett St, Revesby

Maryanne Stuart

0406 460 683

Eden Monaro

TBC

 

Ben Halliday

0439 593 327

Gilmore (1)

Saturday 12 Sept

-         11.30am -4pm

Joyce Wheatley Community Centre, Hindmarsh Park, Kiama. Access via Collins Lane

 

Lisa Kremmer

0455 557 112

Gilmore (2)

Sunday 13 Sep

-         10:00am -1:30pm

North Nowra Community Centre, 7 Hood Close, North Nowra

Lisa Kremmer

0455 557 112

Lindsay

Saturday 12 Sep

-         12:30pm – 3pm

Penrith Paceway Function Centre

Cnr Mulgoa Rd, Ransley Sts, Penrith

Mary Yaager

0408 931 899

Macquarie 

Saturday 12 Sep

-         9:30am -2pm

Springwood Sports Club 
83 Macquarie Rd, Springwood

Aaron Reynolds

0418 661 706

Page

Sunday 13 Sep

-         9am -12:30pm

Lismore City Bowling Club
Spinks Park Molesworth St Lismore
Followed by Family Day BBQ in Spinks Park to promote campaign to general public.

Sharyn Usher

0478 959 687

 

Reid

Sunday 13 Sep

-         9:30 -1:30pm

Concord RSL

Nirranda Street, Concord West

Alison Rahill

0414 316 839

Central Coast

Sunday 13 Sep

-         10am – 1:30pm

Kariong Progress Hall

Woy Woy Road, Kariong

 

Aarin Moon

 0411 215 430

 ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.   Build a Better Future Community Campaign - Penrith

6pm Wed 2 September Penrith Paceway, Sky Lounge  Penrith Showground

Speakers include:   Dr Pat Ranald, AFTINET,  Bernie Smith, SDA, Judith Kiejda, NSWNMA

2.   We Are Union Launch:  Tuesday 8 September, 5:30 for 6pm
Come along to the launch of a new initiative bringing together progressives in Sydneys inner city who want to take action and make change for the better

The Bank, 324 King St Newtown.

To be launched by:   Ged Kearney, ACTU President. 

Guest speakers: Mark Lennon, Secretary, Unions NSW, Sally McManus, Vice President, ACTU.  

Light finger food provided.     

3.   The APHEDA Annual Fundraising Dinner

Wed 9th September at 6pm AERIAL UTS Function Centre (UTS Building 10) - Level 7, 235 Jones St, Ultimo

4.    Unions NSW - 2nd Equal Pay Dinner

       Wednesday 16 September 2015  The Athenian, 11 Barrack Street, Sydney   $65pp, tables of ten available

       RSVP to Rose Docwra via rdocwra@unionsnsw.org.au

5.   Retired Unionists – Call to Action

Retired Unionists ‘Call to Action’  Monday 21st September- 10am to 2pm - Trades Hall, Sydney.  Lunch will be provided
For further information contact Alison Rahill 9881 5923

6.   Safety and Injured Workers Conference

Unions NSW will be holding its Annual Safety and Injured Workers Conference

Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd October 2015.  Please register your attendance with Rose Docwra at rdocwra@unionsnsw.org.au 
     

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:00 PM

  

Tagged: Minutes

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