UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 29th OCTOBER 2015
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY 5:30PM.

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

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 Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the minutes from the meeting of 15th October 2015 as circulated be received”.

Com. R. Smith seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 

That the minutes of the meeting of 15th October 2015 be adopted”.

Com. C. Boyle seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:  The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) appointing Graydon Welsh in place of Mark Edwards for tonight’s meeting.

From: The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) appointing Scott Bean in place of Russ Collison for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

“That the credentials be received and the delegates welcomed.”

 Com. V. Faulkner seconded.

 CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Were received and accepted for: R. Collison, B. Holmes, J. Kiejda, R. Fortescue, B. Smith.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com V. Cartwright seconded.

CARRIED

GUEST SPEAKER:

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon introduced Reece Proudfoot from Peoples Climate March to address council.

Reece said he works for the WWF and works with the Sydney Alliance.  Reece showed a video regarding the People’s Climate March on 29 November 2015.  The March is based on a very successful New York march and is timed in the lead up to United Nations Climate talks in Paris.  Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull will attend those talks. The previous PM Tony Abbott wasn’t going to attend. The March seeks to shine the light on gaps in coalition policy, good points in Labor’s policy, build coalitions across community organisations.

 Reece reported on a planning meeting held a few weeks ago, where a number of affiliates were present.

The March is trying to tell a very positive story.  That good climate policy can have an impact on everyone. People will attend the March for many reasons: for a safe climate, for the people suffering the worst effects of climate change and for renewable energy and jobs in the transition to a clean economy. The world is working towards solutions, and so are Australian communities. Yet our government is holding us back.

This November, we have the opportunity to come together to demonstrate that we are a broad, diverse, united and powerful coalition committed to change, and that we won’t stand for more inaction on climate change.

The vision for the Sydney March involves highlighting stories across the community that are not normally told. The Firefighters, Young Farmers Federation, Uniting Church, Catholic Church all have a big involvement.  People will be marching in seven groups including unions marching in the “Just Transitions” group. There are 180 partner organisations behind the March including Unions NSW and other trade unions.

 

On Sunday 29 November the trade union marchers will meet at 12:30pm at the Archibald Fountain.  There will be speeches and entertainment, then the march. They are expecting 20-40,000. There are lots of other events. Everyone is encouraged to get involved.

The Secretary thanked Reece for his address and said it was good Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull was attending the climate talks as Australia must be part of these global discussions.  The Secretary also noted the event was very inclusive and well organised and encouraged affiliates to get involved.

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1. From The NSW Teachers Federation:-  advising that eighty seven permanent positions at Western Sydney TAFE Institute have been targeted for redundancy before the end of 2015, with further job loss announcements expected.  The job casualties are the consequence of funding cuts associated with the Baird Government’s Smart and Skilled policy.  More than 2,500 permanent teacher and support staff jobs have been lost across NSW since 2011, and thousands of part time casual TAFE teachers have lost some or all of their teaching hours.

Western Sydney Institute positons earmarked to go include: 

  • Civil Engineering
  • Health, Recreation and Community Services
  • Business Administration
  • Information Technology
  • Accounting
  • Support services and Managers

Employment preparation, adult basic education and equity services are undergoing reviews with plans to make three of the teacher consultants for students with a disability redundant.

Student fees increased

The Smart and Skilled policy has increased student fees, some dramatically.  People who want to improve their education and job prospects should be able to do so without incurring overwhelming debt.  TAFE students already experience financial disadvantage because of the loss of income related to full time study or low apprenticeship or traineeship wages.  Vocational education and training graduates generally do not have the earning capacity of university graduates.

Course fee increases associated with Smart and Skilled have decreased student enrolments at Western Sydney TAFE.

Courses cut 

Mt Druitt TAFE will no longer offer apprentice training in panel beating and spray painting.  Apprentices currently enrolled at Mt Druitt will be forced to travel to either Campbelltown or Ultimo TAFE.

Further course cut announcements are expected before the end of the year.

What can you do? 

Call on Premier Mike Baird and the Regional Development, Skills and Small Business Minister, John Barilaro to:

  • STOP TAFE CUTS
  • Reinstate guaranteed recurrent TAFE funding
  • Intervene now to reverse the damage of their experimental privatisation policy

Campaign Website: www.stoptafecuts.com.au

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

“The correspondence be received and Unions NSW expresses its ongoing concerns about the underfunding of our TAFE system, resulting in job losses, reduced teaching  hours, increased student fees, lower enrolments and reduced course options.  This latest news about 87 redundancies at Western Sydney TAFE and courses cut at Mt Druitt TAFE will have a devastating impact on vocational training opportunities in the heart of Sydney’s highest region for unemployment.

Unions NSW calls on Premier Baird and Minister Barilaro to:

  • STOP TAFE CUTS
  • Reinstate guaranteed recurrent TAFE funding
  • Intervene now to reverse the damage of their experimental privatisation policy

We encourage all affiliates to promote the issue to their members and encourage them to support the Stop TAFE cuts Campaign.”

Com. R. Long seconded. 

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.   Protocol for Police Liaison During Industrial Disputes

Com. P. Remfrey and Com. M. Morey reported that Unions NSW and the Police Association of NSW have agreed to the protocol for police liaison during industrial disputes.

The intention of the protocol is to ensure that industrial disputes are conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner.  They are designed to ensure the safety of the public, the police and union members engaging in legitimate protests.  Accordingly the parties believe there is no need for the use of public order management tools in industrial disputes.

These parties recognise that:

  • Union members have a right to free speech and peaceful demonstration, the right to engage in daily activities and the right to feel safe and secure; and
  • The primary goal of police is to maintain public safety;  and
  • Police will be impartial, and will use their discretion to facilitate the lawful activities of all parties and avoid action which will escalate the event

 The protocol is an update of one from over 30 years old that contributed to many peaceful pickets.

The new protocol states the police will liaise with an Assistant Secretary from Unions NSW if they are unable to liaise with the union. The final section called Managing Potential Conflict states minimal force will be used and only after consultation with union officials in charge.

Com. Peter Remfrey said a High Court decision says police have to do their duty.  The police were asked to update the protocol 3 years ago. There was no response, so we have done it ourselves. He said the protocol will be widely circulated and publishing to ensure early dialogue between police and trade unions.  The protocol should ensure legislative procedures are ticked off and the police to be able to get on with attending other matters.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received and adopted”.

 Com. P. Remfrey seconded.   

 CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That Unions NSW adopt the new protocol and Peter Remfrey, Mark Morey and others involved be thanked for this initiative”.

 Com. B. Parker seconded.           

CARRIED

2.   Boxing Day Trading

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon reported on the progress with the issue of Boxing Day trading.   The Secretary said the Bill is not just about retail trading, but banks too.  The FSU are now involved. 

The Bill was listed for Tuesday and it did not come up.  The Secretary hopes the Rev Fred Nile is at worst undecided, which is why the matter hasn’t been brought on.

A rally was held outside Parliament last Tuesday with unions and civil society and people dressed as Santa. 

The Secretary congratulated the SDA and the FSU and everyone involved for keeping the pressure on.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the reported be received and noted”.

 Com. R. Tonkli seconded.  

CARRIED

3.  BlueScope Steel

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon reported on the good news that BlueScope Steel will remain open. He noted the great campaign run by South Coast Labour Council, Wayne Phillips and Daniel Walton that brought about this fantastic result.  It was a hard choice for members to make but there will be real benefits to Wollongong.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the reported be received and noted”.

 Com. Brian Parker seconded.           

CARRIED

4. Build a Better Future Campaign

Com. E. Maiden reported on the recent China Free Trade Agreement debates events held at Grafton, Hurstville, Central Coast and Penrith.  The events have been well supported with over 450 people attending.  Only two ChAFTA debates remain: one at Queanbeyan on 30th October and Bomaderry on 18th November.

The campaign team are beginning to wind down for the year, but they will be continuing with some local high visibility activities, encouraging activists to attend the climate march on 29 November and having end of year celebrations in early December. Reid will also be hosting a doorknock on 14 November regarding BBF and climate change.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon noted that the union movement was not opposed to international trade.  It just needs to be fair, with labour market testing and payment of market rates.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the reported be received”.

 Com. Anne-Maree McEwen seconded.                         

 The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the reported be adopted and all the staff involved in organising the ChAFTA debates be thanked for their work”.

 Com. J. Wright seconded.                 

CARRIED

5.   Real Men Wear Pink Launch

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon reported on the Real Men Wear Pink Launch held last Thursday at Trades Hall. He said it was a great event with well over 100+ people taking part.  The Secretary thanked all the trade unions who participated and a special thanks to Mary Yaager in organising the fun event. 

Unions are aiming to raise over $25K to this great cause over the next year and Unions NSW have kicked off the campaign with a $5k donation.   There will be a number of events being held over the next few weeks with a big event on 27th November as “Maitland goes Pink.”

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the reported be received and noted”.

 Com. Brian Parker seconded        

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1     The Asbestos Diseases Foundation Gala Race Day 2015

ADFA is holding its Gala Race Day to provide services to the community and to raise funds for the Asbestos Disease Research Institute (ADRI) at Concord Hospital.

Saturday 31st October  - Derby Day – Rosehill Gardens
11:30am arrival -  First race starts at 12:05pm
Single tickets - $200 (GST inclusive)  or a table of 10  for $2,000
For further information please contact ADFA office on 9637 8759  

2  Marriage Equality Now – No more delays RALLY
Saturday 7 November 1pm Sydney Town Hall.
Organised by Community Action Against Homophobia.

3     WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF OUR SUPER
The Government wants to change the equal representation model, award default fund status and much more.  These changes alone will significantly weaken the system of industry super that the union movement was instrumental in establishing.   Unions NSW and AustralianSuper invites you to hear:

Ian Silk, Chief Executive of AustralianSuper speak about these developments.
Thursday 12th November at 6pm in Trades Hall Auditorium

Please RSVP Martin Schutz via Australian Super or call 0417 032 913

Drinks and canapés will follow the presentation.

160th Anniversary Labour Day Dinner
 
We will be celebrating our Annual Dinner on  Friday 13th NOVEMBER 2015
7:00pm Sharp 
-  Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney

$130 per ticket - Tables of 8,10 and 12 available.
Please contact Salim Barbar on 0417 286 482 for further details.

This year’s tickets will be automated via the ‘Eventbrite’ website

5.  The People’s Climate March  -  Sunday 29 November -1:00pm The Domain,

As world attention is focused on the Paris international climate talks, we will mobilise and rally all over Australia to:

Send a strong message to our political leaders about the need to protect the Australian people by fairly transitioning to renewable energy and shifting away from dirty polluting fossil fuels. Further information: Peoplesclimate.org.au.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:23 PM

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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