UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

The President, Com. J. Kiejda occupied the Chair.

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

 

OPENING OF THE MEETING: The President, Com. J. Kiejda 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 of the 16 February and the Annual General Meeting held 23 February as circulated be received”.

 Com. D. McKinley (ETU) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:                            

“That the minutes of the 16 February and the minutes from Annual General Meeting held 23 February as circulated be adopted”.

Com. M Gatfield (UV) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:  Apologies were received and accepted for: C. Bolger (Prof.Aus), G. Kelly (USU),  J. Dixon (NSWTF) and P. Byrne, N. Mason, W. Baxter (NSWNMA).

The Secretary, Com. M Morey moved:       

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. M. Gatfield (United Voice) seconded.

CARRIED

GUEST SPEAKER: 
The Secretary, Com. M. Morey introduced Trent Hunter, Executive Youth Representative, Penrith Valley Community Unions and SDA delegate to address council regarding encourage young workers to join a union.

Trent addressed the meeting and said: “union membership is at an all-time low at just 15%.  Trent said a way to encourage union growth among young workers is to hold a youth event in conjunction with comedian the Friendly Jordie.  We are inviting all unions to send a representative to speak to young people about unionism and their rights at work.  

Delegates were shown a video of Friendly Jordie’s comedy sketch at the benefits of being a union member.

A Youth Member Drive will be held Friday 31st March at 7:30pm at venue TBC”.  Trent said he would like for all unions to be well represented on the night.

Com. Rita Mallia moved a special motion of thanks to Trent Hunter for being a shining example of young unionist.

The Secretary thanked Trent for his initiative, enthusiasm and drive and said “we are happy to support the youth drive by promoting the event through our website and social media.”

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From: Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU):- advising they welcomed the support of all the other affiliates, the presence of whom at the rally on Thursday 9 March will be important to ensure that the loudest message is sent to the government that the race to the bottom that it is pursuing will be ultimately be its undoing.

We also support this opportunity of the rally on 9 March to raise our rejection of the FWC’s decision to cut penalty rates. An attack on one is an attack on all and even though the current attacks are coming from different directions, the objective of all of them is to reduce workers’ rights and conditions.

We look forward to seeing all affiliates represented. 

Com. Brian Parker spoke to the correspondence and said “the CFMEU called this rally nationally and he wanted to thank affiliates for their support and we are expecting large numbers of supporters to attend the rally.” 

Com. Parker also spoke of the death of a member who died at work at the Barangaroo site today. This is not an accident it is industrial manslaughter.  The fact is the ABCC is going to make it harder to protect construction workers.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW urge all affiliates to support the National Rally on Friday 9 March. 

We need to keep the pressure on the government to abolish the ABCC laws.”

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  From: Maritime Union of Australia (MUA):- Congratulating Union Pride for being active and engaging with the community at the Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day.  Because of these efforts 1,000 signatures were collected to support the campaign led by the ASU to protect 1800 Respect (the national domestic and sexual violence hotline).

With Turnbull imposing cuts to 1800 Respect and the Baird-Berejiklian regime closing 68 domestic violence shelters in NSW, we will continue to fight back as the very safety and survival of Australian women depends on it. 

The presence of Union Pride at Fair Day was also significant, as it creates further community awareness and visibility for the NSW trade union movement.  

While there has always been strong historical links between the LGBTIQ community and workers’, we must ensure our workplaces are free of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and transmisogyny.

Wishing everyone the best for the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and I look forward to supporting all future endeavours of Union Pride.

From:  NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF):- Congratulating Unions NSW on contributing to the union presence and promotion at the recent Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras event at Fair Day. 

Members have reported that they were excited to see the Union Pride stall at Fair day, and consequently felt more included in the broader union movement.  The stall clearly assisted in raising the profile of unions within the LGBTIQ community, and prompted discussion on issues of domestic and sexual violence with the promotion of these campaigns.

I understand that around one thousand signatures were collected for the ASU’s petition to oppose the Turnbull Government trying to hand over the national sexual assault hotline 1800RESPECT to business for profit.  I congratulate the volunteers for their time and effort in collecting these signatures. 

I encourage other unions to foster positive relationships with the LGBTIQ community, and their LBGTIQ identifying members, through similar events and look forward to a continued union presence in the future.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates Union Pride on the success of Mardi Gras Fair Day.  Volunteers obtained 1000 signatures of support to keep the national domestic and sexual violence hotline in government hands and not privatise this essential service.”

Com. M Kieran (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

3.  From: Victorian Trades Hall Council – Young Workers Centre: writes to thank Unions NSW for the support you gave to Victorian Trades Hall Council and the Young Workers Centre during their Honey Birdette action on 14 February.

Your solidarity and support in holding the head office of this company accountable for the exploitation of young women workers and their unsafe workplace practices was invaluable.

Young Worker's Centre looks forward to fighting for workers’ rights with you across the border in the months and years going forward.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the Young Workers Centre for their successful action against Honey Birdette company on 14 February where the company was held accountable for the exploitation of their young female workers.”

Com. P Reid (USU) seconded.

CARRIED

4.  From: Australian Services Union (ASU): On behalf of ASU members working at the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) we am seeking your support to stop corporate profiteering from the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Today 163 women, men and children will contact 1800 RESPECT, the national telephone and online counselling service for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Most will speak with a specialist counsellor from RDVSA. For seven years 1800 RESPECT has been run by the specialist counsellors of RDVSA, the internationally recognised experts in providing support services to victims.  But all that could end. 

Two and a half weeks ago our members at RDVSA were told that their specialist service within 1800 RESPECT is to be advertised for tender. The organisation had less than a week to lodge an ‘expression of interest’ in continuing to provide the service that they have already been providing for seven years. 

Why?

In early 2016 RDVSA sought an additional $2 million in funding to cope with the dramatic increase in calls to 1800RESPECT. Instead, the Federal Government-funded private, for-profit insurance company Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) to provide a ‘triage service’ to the amount of $3.5 million. 

RDVSA along with sector professionals has been highly critical of the Federal Government’s handling of 1800 RESPECT and the triage service operating model. It has been described as the McDonald's drive-thru approach to counselling victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

RDVSA is a unionised, feminist organisation which speaks out for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. \

We believe our members are being silenced by MHS and the Federal Government.

We are seeking the support of Unions NSW and affiliates to join our campaign: NO PROFIT FROM RAPE.

We are asking that Unions NSW and affiliates:

  1. Donate to the campaign in order to purchase advertisements on International Women’s
    Day (https://unionsnsw.nationbuilder.com/no_profit_from_rape)
  2. Promote our campaign and petition with members (www.noprofitfromrape.org)
  3. Add your names to the list of public supporters (email: jprimrose@asu.org.au

If you would further information or to organise a speaker from the ASU please contact Jan Primrose at jprimrose@asu.org.au

Com. Natalie Lang spoke to the correspondence and said that the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) service is invaluable and the replacement service by Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) is dangerous to women.  MHS is McDonalds drive through of counselling services.  MHS call centre workers are not specialists they are paid per call and do not have support to deal with these women who are in dire need of specialist support. We ask for your support to promote our campaign to stop MHS by donating to purchase advertising and to sign the petition. 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates ASU on their campaign No Profit from Rape and encourage all affiliates to support the campaign and Unions NSW will promote the campaign to donate.”

Com. H. Westwood (ASU) seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  RETURNING OFFICERS REPORT

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey reported that in accordance with Rule 24 as at 4:00 pm Wednesday, 22 February 2017 the following nominations were received for the vacant positions on Unions NSW Executive:  

Vice President – one (1) to be elected.   A Nomination was received from:

  • Paul Noack, AWU

As only one (1) nomination was received for the position, I therefore declare Paul Noack be elected as a Vice President.

Trustee – one (1) to be elected.  A nomination was received from:

  •   Catherine Bolger, Professionals Australia

As only one (1) nomination was received for the position,

I therefore declare Catherine Bolger be elected as a Trustee.

General Executive Members -  two (2) to be elected.  Nominations were received from:

  • Jacqueline Walton – TWU
  • Julie Korlevska – United Voice

As only two (2) nominations were received for the positions, I therefore declare Jacqueline Walton and Julie Korlevska be elected as General Executive Members.

2.  Nominations for Finance & Governance Committee Member

In accordance with Rule 24 of Unions NSW Rules, nominations will be called for the position as listed:

  •   FINANCE & GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE MEMBER: (1) to be elected

Nominations should be on the prescribed form available from Unions NSW and returned to the Mary O’Donoghue via email modonoghue@unionsnsw.org.au prior to the close of nominations.

Closing date for nominations is 4:00pm on Wednesday 15 March 2017 

Should a ballot be necessary it will be held on Thursday, 16 March 2017 between 5.00pm and 7.00pm at the Trades Hall.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. R. Mallia  (CFMEU) seconded.

 CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Union Pride

Saturday 4 March - Meet at Trades Hall 3pm.


2.  National Rally - Fight back PROTECT OUR JOBS

Take action join thousands of construction workers around the country.

Thursday 9 March at 11am - Governor Phillip Tower, 1 Farrer Place Sydney

We’re fighting for our jobs, our safety and our rights.

3.  Unions NSW International Women’s Day

Afternoon Tea - 2:30pm Wednesday 8March 2017

Universal Café, UTS, 702 Harris Street, Ultimo

4.  International Women’s Day March

for Health Economic Independence Representation & Safety

Saturday 11 March 2017 10:00am  - Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park North


MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:02 PM


Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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