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

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

PRESENT:   M. Morey [Secretary], T. Costa and 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 from the meeting of 23 March 2017 as circulated be received”.

Com. T. Hoffman (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:                          

“That the minutes of the meeting of 23 March 2017 as circulated be adopted”. 

Com. M. Keiran (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: B. Holmes (NSWNMA), G. Kelly (USU), P. Reid (USU), R. Fortescue (AMWU), B. Smith (SDA), R. Tonkli (SDA).

The Secretary, Com. M Morey moved:      

“That the apologies be received and accepted”. 

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From: Professionals Australia:- regarding Penalty rates campaign: Pharmacy blitz.  Professional Australia would like to thank Unions NSW and affiliates for supporting our efforts to organise pharmacists as part of the campaign against cuts to penalty rates, the ongoing attack on pharmacists pay and conditions and threats to good rewarding jobs.

Pharmacists in community and franchised corporate chemist shops are the lowest paid health professionals in the country. After 5 years university study they can expect little more than 26 dollars an hour for providing critically important health services, often as the first point of contact. 

The cuts to penalty rates, as advocated by the pharmacy employer association, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, mean that a pharmacist working a 5 day week with a regular Sunday shift will lose close to 6 thousand dollars a year, from a salary of under 70 thousand. There are many more low paid workers in this country of course but there are few if any who have the responsibility of providing a health service that requires professional indemnity insurance.

What makes the situation even more galling is that the insurance pharmacists are required to have is provided as a near monopoly by a company which pays out huge annual dividends to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. Of course their use of the word “guild” is also extremely misleading. 

Professionals Australia (through Professional Pharmacists Australia, our Pharmacy division) has been using an online organising strategy over the past couple of years. This has been successful but the penalty rates campaign gives us an opportunity to shift into another gear. Our problem has always been the same as most unions: how do we find the means to resource an industry campaign to scale? With the support of Unions NSW, local union community groups and affiliates we can take another step toward solving this conundrum and unionising an important part of a vital industry. By organising community pharmacists in a campaign against the cuts to penalty rates we also tap into a trusted community asset and help build the union networks that we need to advance the cause of the movement as a whole. 

The next major activity in our campaign is to systematically contact pharmacists in Chemist Warehouse shops in Sydney. The Chemist Warehouse franchise tend to pay minimum rates and of course there is no collective agreement. Our plan is to visit up to 30 Chemist Warehouse outlets on 23 April to sign up pharmacists, other workers and customers to the campaign. The ‘ask’ will be for pharmacists to join the union, or provide details for follow-up. We will also direct non-pharmacist employees to the SDA for sign up or follow-up. 

I’d like to thank Mary Yaager, the community union groups, RTBU officials and activists and others who have agreed to assist with this activity. I’ll provide further details closer to the day and welcome the support of any others who can assist.  

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW supports Professionals Australia in their penalty rates – pharmacy blitz on 23rd April.

The Pharmacy Guild should be condemned for their support of penalty rate cuts for Sunday and public holidays which will see pharmacy workers lose thousands a year.

Unions NSW encourages all affiliates to participate in the blitz on 23 April and will circulate details as they become available.”

Com. P. Davies (Professionals Aust.) seconded. 

CARRIED BY ACCLAMATION

REPORTS:

1.  Superannuation

Com. E. Maiden spoke on the four priorities for 2017 established by the Unions NSW Superannuation Committee meeting that day. First, is succession planning to ensure there is a diverse, suitably qualified rank of unionists to fill vacancies when they arise. Second, is research to identify alternative ways governments can unlock superannuation investment dollars without privatising public assets. Third, is communications and education so union members are receiving a regular stream of digestible of information that is supportive of the industry super fund system and the superannuation guarantee. Fourth, is providing a brains trust and support to the ACTU and Rod Pickette regarding the work they are doing on an ESG ratings systems.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved: 

That the report be received and noted”. 

Com. Alex Claassens (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  Gosford By-Election It's About Jobs Campaign

Com. S. Barbar reported on the Gosford by-election “It’s about jobs campaign”.  

He said 13 booths will be targeted on election day on 8 April.  He asked affiliates to adopt a booth.  The campaign will encourage voters to ‘Put the Liberals last’. All affiliates were encouraged to get in touch with Salim if they can help out.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. D. McKinley (ETU) seconded.

CARRIED

3. Penalty Rates Campaign

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey reported on the Penalty Rates Campaign. The ACTU are considering ways they can advertise at the Easter Show and want to have volunteers handing out information on the Penalty Rates Campaign at the Show on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Two shifts will be run from 9-11am and from 4-6pm to catch the bulk of arrivals. It is estimated 10-15 people will be required per shift. Mary Yaager is organising the roster and a circular seeking volunteers will be put out soon.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. J. Dixon (NSWTF) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Politics in the Pub - Tonight 
6:30pm the Gaelic Club, 1/64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
Guest Speaker:  Emma Maiden

Speaking on ‘Rebuilding the labour movement’

2.  Walk For Respect – Keep 18C
Together we can again stop changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
We can save the law that protects all Australians from hurtful and divisive speech.

Join us for the Walk for Respect to show that you stand with us and want to protect our multicultural community to encourage harmony not hate speech. 

TOMORROW NIGHT

WHEN:     Friday March 31, assemble 5pm – walk at 5:30pm-8pm

WHERE:   Corner Gillies St and Haldon St, Lakemba

CONTACT:  Ariane · 02 9750 9088


3. Youth Membership Drive
Join the Union

Come and find out how joining your union can help you.

The Red Cow - Westfield Penrith, 9 Station St, Penrith 

7:30pm Friday 31 March

RSVP on FB to secure free tickets bit.ly/friendlyjordies


4.  No Profit from Rape Rally

Thursday 6 April 2017 - 11am

Farrer Place Sydney

5. Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees 2017 – We can do better! #BringThemHere
Join in the rally to step up the pressure for change. We can do better, Bring them here Rally
at 2:00pm on Sunday 9th April 2017, Hyde Park North.

March to First Fleet Park, Circular Quay. Contact Ian: 0417 275 713 or Peter: 0418 312 301

6. 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, 9:00am-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

7. May Day – Sunday 7 May 2017

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

8. 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 are aiming to raise $5000 for breast cancer research.

All team members will receive a running singlet.

Contact Emma Maiden, Unions NSW to place your order.

Womens Day Classic – Running Singlet

Singlet says:

We are union

RUNNING ON EMPTY@WORK?

Join your union

unionsnsw.org.au

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:00 PM

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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