UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THRUSDAY 31 AUGUST 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

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

PRESENT:  Com. M. Morey [Secretary], Com. E. Maiden, Com. T. Costa [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 24 August 2017 as circulated be received."

Com. H. Rebeiro (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 24 August 2017 as circulated be adopted."

Com. N. Lang (ASU) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:   Apologies were received and accepted for: R. Mallia (CFMEU), B. Holmes (NSWNMA), D. McKinley (ETU), B. Smith SDA).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the apologies be received and accepted."

Com. M. Keiran (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

GUEST SPEAKER:

Georgia Kriz, NSW Coordinator, Marriage Equality Campaign
The Secretary, Com. M. Morey welcomed Georgia to address council on the overall strategy for the Marriage Equality Campaign and how we can work with our activists on the campaign.

Georgia said the Equality Campaign is a national campaign to win marriage equality for all Australians.  Marriage is about love and commitment and in a country based on equal citizenship, it should be available to everyone.

Georgia said the campaign was starting from a position of strength where, the majority of people, support marriage equality.  Now new electoral enrolments have closed the campaign is focused on getting people to fill n the survey and post it in.

The campaign is holding phone banks in metropolitan and regional areas every night.  They are aiming to speak to 5 million people.  They want the phone banks to be  as decentralised as possible.   Activists can use their own phone and call from anywhere.

Next Tuesday Union Pride will be holding a phone bank session at Trades Hall and Georgia encouraged everyone to get involved.

There will also be two (2) big weekends of doorknocking.  They will be held on 16-17 September and 23-24 September.  One before the surveys arrive and one after, all designed to get the message out to complete the survey.  The survey will arrive in people's letterboxes between 19 and 22 September.

Georgia said she is happy to address groups of members or any other opportunity to encourage union members to get involved.

Affiliates are encouraged to go to the yes.org.au  website to get further details on the campaign.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey thanked Georgia for her address and asked affiliates to join the campaign, so together we can make equality and fairness a reality for all.

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1. From the Australian Services Union (ASU):   regarding 75% funding cuts to 1800RESPECT Counselling Service.

It is with the greatest sadness that I write to tell you that Federal Minister for DSS, Christian Porter and MHS have now announced that RDVSA will lose 75% of its funding and must operate as part of the MHS call centre model.

This decision will mean that women, children and men who are living with rape and violence will no longer be able to speak directly to an experienced and qualified specialist sexual assault and domestic violence trauma counsellor.

Compounding this funding crisis, the conditions being imposed upon RDVSA by the new MHS contract are so bad that the Board of RDSVA, with the full support of the women who work there have decided to reject the contract entirely.  The Board and the professional specialist counsellors at RDVSA believe that the conditions being demanded by MHS are both unethical and potentially in breach of both state and commonwealth privacy and other legislation.  They are also in clear breach of the professional standards required of the clinical specialists who provide the counselling at RDVSA.

More than 100 women - most of whom are specialist sexual assault and domestic violence trauma counsellors could lose their jobs.

If this decision by Minister Porter and the Turnbull Government are not overturned, it will forever change the 1800RESPECT service.

Three other services around the country will now be funded to provide counselling for 1800RESPECT.  These services mainly provide emergency housing to women escaping violence.  We have the greatest respect for those services and the women who work there.  However, they do not have the funding to provide the experienced specialist sexual assault and domestic violence trauma counsellors who currently work at RDVSA.

We are therefore seriously concerned for the welfare of the women, children and men who contact 1800RESPECT, but also the women being employed by MHS without the support they need to provide this very difficult work. 

A further problem arises because not-for-profit organisations are precluded by their grants from accruing sufficient funds to cover redundancies.  Without the funds to pay redundancy entitlements of the women who will lose their jobs and without sufficient funding to continue their work, this decision by Minister Porter and the Turnbull Government could mean the closure of a service that has operated for 50 years.

We are calling upon the Prime Minister to intervene before it is too late.

We most sincerely thank all affiliates for their support during the campaign to save RDVSA and 1800RESPECT and request that Council endorses the ongoing campaign by the ASU and our members at RDVSA.

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW condemns the actions of the Federal Minister for Department of Social Security (DSS) in cutting the funding of 1800RESPECT by 75%.

Domestic violence is a national emergency and the 1800RESPECT is a vital service used by women at their most vulnerable time. Without frontline services like 1800RESPECT we cannot stop domestic violence.

Unions NSW endorses the campaign and joins the ASU in calling upon the Prime Minister to intervene to save the RDVSA before it's too late."

Com. N. Lang seconded.

CARRIED BY ACCLAMATION

2.  From Correctional Industries Consultative Council (CICC):  expressing their thanks and appreciation to Brad Parker, Member representing Unions NSW who recently resigned from the Correctional Industries Consultative Council of NSW (CICC).

Representation from Unions NSW forms an integral part of the Council when considering new business opportunities that provide inmate work for CSI.  During his time on the Council, Brad Park was committed and brought invaluable knowledge and expertise to the CICC and its endeavours in achieving favourable outcomes for all involved.

Brad assisted in communicating with potential private sector businesses and their members explaining the CSI inmate philosophy and addressing any of their issues.  Brad was also actively involved in Work, Health & safety practices and their relevant implementation in CSI business units.

We thank Unions NSW for their continued support of the Council and on behalf of Council members we wish Brad well for the future.

 

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW would like to thank Brad for serving on the Correctional Industries Consultative Council (CICC) committee.  Brad's commitment, participation and expertise while on the committee was invaluable and most appreciated."

Com. P. Noack (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED


3.  From Australian Services Union (ASU):  
regarding the Edna Ryan Awards.  The EDNAs were established in honour of the late Edna Ryan who worked towards making a better world, especially for women.  She campaigned for equal pay throughout her lifetime.  The EDNAs are awards for women who have made a feminist difference, whose activity advances the status of women.

Unions may wish to nominate a member or delegate or an official for this award.  Nominations close on 1 September and the nomination form is available on their website www.ednaryan.net.au.  They only accept one nomination from each individual or organisation.

The person must be nominated under one of the following categories:

  • Workforce - improving conditions for women workers
  • Government - feminist activity in the political sphere
  • Arts - creative feminism
  • Sport - promoting the engagement and recognition of women in sport
  • Leadership - leading feminist changes in the public sphere
  • Media/Communication - consistent promotion of feminist perspectives in the media
  • Mentoring - sharing knowledge and ideas generously with other women
  • Education - special contribution to the education of women and girls
  • Community Activism - feminist activity in the community
  • Grand Stirrer - inciting others to challenge the status quo

The ASU are a big supporter of this Edna Ryan Awards Committee with the great work they achieve and their trade union activism.

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW supports the Edna Ryan awards and the recognition they provide to women who are making a difference in a diverse range of fields.  Unions NSW will publicise the awards to affiliates and encourage them to nominate a delegate or official."

Com. P. Noack (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  Women's Mentoring Program

Com. Kate Minter, Unions NSW Research Officer addressed council and said Unions NSW has developed a women's mentoring program to be coordinated by Unions NSW.  Union nominations for mentees (women to be mentored) will be opening at the beginning of next week.  Unions NSW will be circulating a nomination survey to all unions.

Unions are encouraged to nominate women mentees to participate in the mentoring program.

We have a number of women in the movement who have already volunteered to be mentors.  If you are interested in being a mentor - please contact Kate Minter.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted."

Com. R. Fortescue seconded.

CARRIED

2. We Won't Wait Campaign

Com. N. Lang reported on the We Won't Wait Campaign to end domestic violence.  A woman is killed every week in Australia as a result of family and domestic violence.  Some of these women are killed at their workplaces.  One in four women have experienced some form of abuse by a current or former partner.

Com. Lang thanked Unions NSW for their support and said many Federal representatives are now on side.

An organisers briefing was held last Friday.  Thanks for sending your organisers along.  Campaign kits can be purchased from Unions NSW.  Please contact Kate Minter for more information.

On 20 October there will be a full day conference to discuss the We Won't Wait Campaign and the ACTYU's working women agenda.

25 November will be the commencement of the "End Violence Against Women" 16 days of activism.  Each union will be asked to sponsor a day.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted."

 Com. N. Lang seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Equal Pay Dinner - Wednesday 13 September 2017
Time:  6:30pm
Venue: 
Stacks Taverna, Darling Quarter, 125, 158-166 Day Street, Darling Harbour

Guest Speaker:  Ms Clea Smith - Winner Cricket World Cup and member of the successful ACA Negotiation Team who delivered the most significant pay deal for women in Australian sport's history.

Tickets are $65:00 each.  Purchase as single ticket or a table of 10

Eventbrite tickets are available via the Eventbrite link.


MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:02PM

 

 

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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