UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 31ST MARCH 2016
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

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

PRESENT:  M. MOrey [Secretary], E. Maiden [Assistant Secretary].

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 10th March 2016 as circulated be received”.

Com. A. McEwan.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

That the minutes of the meeting of 10th March 2016 be adopted”.

Com. K. Conroy seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

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

From:  NSW Teachers Federation appointing G. Butler,A. Catallo and T. Moriarty as delegates to Unions NSW.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey  moved:-

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

Com. B. Parker seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: T. Costa, J. Dixon, B. Holmes, S. Turner, R. Tonkli, B. Smith, D. McKinley, M. Keiran.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the apologies be received and accepted”.

 Com. R. Fortescue seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney Branch regarding the Jobs Embassy in Canberra.

As affiliates would be aware, the MUA has been organising the ongoing Jobs Embassy on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra, on each and every sitting day that Federal Parliament sits.

The Jobs Embassy followed on from the sacking of the crews of the Portland and CSL Melbourne, where Australian seafarers lost their jobs to foreign workers being exploited on wages as low as $2 per hour. All whilst the Abbott and Turnbull Governments sit back and do nothing to support Australian workers.

The MUA along with other unions have joined at the Jobs Embassy, taking the message straight to the decision makers, who have so far been deaf to the decline of long-term, skilled, once-stable jobs in manufacturing, seafaring, mining and other industries. Unions have used the opportunity to hold rallies as well as engage with politicians and speak directly to them on the importance of developing and maintaining sustainable jobs for Australia workers.

We are determined to continue that fight!

The MUA Sydney Branch will be hosting the Jobs Embassy in Canberra during budget week, 2-6 May which will be a high profile week and a further chance to put our message across in support of workers.

We seek Unions NSW support for the Jobs Embassy and encourage all affiliated unions to come along and participate during budget week.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW supports the Jobs Embassy and encourages all affiliates to participate in the Jobs Embassy during Budget Week.

Help us make the MUA Sydney Branch week the biggest yet.”

Com. R. Mallia seconded the resolution.

CARRIED

2.  From NSW Teachers Federation regarding public education in NSW gaols.

NSWTF holds grave concerns that the Baird Government is planning to privatise education in NSW gaols. The proposal (prepared by KPMG) and submitted to the Government by Corrective Services, involves a ‘hybrid model of education provision with some existing staff and some external providers’.

Current education provision consists of staff permanently employed by Corrective Services NSW, providing accredited courses, with vocational education provided by TAFE.

Privatisation of public education provision will be a disaster for the successful rehabilitation of NSW prisoners. Privatisation runs counter to the stated aim of reducing recidivism outlined in the CSNSW state plan.

Research has continually demonstrated that prisoners who engage in adult education while incarcerated have a lower risk of returning to gaol.

The role of education, including the operation of prison libraries, and access to legal materials, contributes to the good order of each gaol – critically important at the current time given the dramatic rise in the prison population, expected to reach 13,000 by December – the highest ever recorded number.

It is essential that every gaol in NSW has the capacity to offer education to every prisoner.  It is equally essential this education is delivered by highly-qualified and experienced public education teachers in this uniquely complex and volatile environment.  Any level of privatisation will inevitably have a negative impact on the ability to provide education in every gaol in NSW.

We call upon the Government and Corrective Services NSW to re-consider this ideological assault on education provision and urge all unions and affiliates to support the ‘Education Beats Crime’ campaign.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW joins with NSWTF to oppose the privatisation of education services in NSW gaols.

Education is the key to reducing the recidivism and public education services are best placed to play that role.

We support the ‘Education Beats Crime’ campaign and encourage all affiliates to do the same”.

Com. M. Sharkey seconded and spoke to the resolution. Com. J Quessy spoke in further support of the resolution. Local delegate Stewart Burkitt also spoke.                

CARRIED BY ACCLAMATION

3.  From the Electrical Trades Union regarding Essential Energy.

As you are aware Essential Energy has made an application to Fair Work Australia to cancel the Essential Energy Enterprise agreement, the matter will be heard before a full bench in June 2016.

The ETU has grave concerns about the impact on members, families and communities if the company’s application is successful.

At present there are approximately 3,200 workers covered by the agreement living in regional NSW. The ETU, USU and Professionals Australia are the Unions who have members engaged by the organisation.

Of the combined unions, the ETU is the largest union representing members at Essential Energy.

The history of this issue stems from enterprise agreement negotiations which commenced around March 2015 to replace the 2013 agreement which had a nominal expiry date of 30th June 2015. The negotiations were always going to be difficult but were made more so by the Australian Energy Regulators determination which reduced Essential Energy’s regulated revenue by almost 30 per cent.

The ETU has had a successful protected action ballot and there are immediate considerations about when industrial action will take place and the ETU expect Essential Energy and the NSW Government to attempt to have any protected industrial action suspended by Fair Work on the basis of possible customer disruptions.  

Essential Energy workers are facing the cancellation of their existing agreement and may have their hands tied in what, if any, industrial action can be taken.

If Essential Energy are successful in their cancellation application then it is possible that Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy where there is also a deadlock in negotiations and who employ a further 6000 workers will make the same applications to cancel their existing agreements.

These are state owned corporations, it is the State Government turning on workers in the most aggressive and fundamental way, something we have not seen in size and scale since the infamous SEQEB dispute under Joh Bjelke-Peterson in Queensland.

Given the serious nature of this matter and the potential for the cancelation of the Essential Energy agreement to potentially impact other government agencies and private industry, the ETU requests support in whatever means possible from Unions NSW and its affiliates.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW supports ETU in their action against Essential Energy and encourages all affiliates to do the same.

Unions NSW will provide assistance to the ETU and their members in this campaign.”

Com. S. Butler seconded and spoke to the resolution.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  International Women’s Day March Saturday 12th March 2016

Com. Maiden reported on the huge success of the International Women’s Day March that had taken place since the last Council meeting. The turnout from affiliates was substantial as well as the diverse range of women and migrant groups represented. Meeting at the Archibald Fountain worked well with speakers including Liza Maza, Sharon McKinnon of the Coalition of Women’s Refuges and Jenna Price. Joy Hopgood, a MEAA member, was a wonderful MC. The march to the Botanical Gardens was ended perfectly with a guard of honour. Many thanks To Kate Minter and Alison Rahill for all the work they put in to make the event our most successful march in some years.      

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. A. Rudman seconded.

2.  TAFE Cuts and Youth Unemployment

Com. M Yaager reported on the recent action at Ryde TAFE. Ryde Council approached the Ryde Community Union Alliance to hold the event shortly after Easter. The turnout from local activists was excellent. The Shadow Education Minister Prue Car attended and was very interested in highlighting issues with the cutbacks to TAFE.

The recent Brotherhood of St Lawrence report on youth unemployment shows how desperately TAFE is needed. The Ryde area is in the top 3, behind Blacktown and the Eastern Suburbs. The decimation of TAFE will only make the situation worse.

The NSWTF has approached Unions NSW to highlight the TAFE cuts in all the target seats, which we will do as part of our campaign.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. R. Martin seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Funeral Service for Pat Geraghty, National Secretary of Seamen’s Union of Australia

Pat passed away last week and was one of Australia's greatest trade union leaders and a tireless advocate for seafarers’ dignity and rights at work and international human rights, including playing a vital role in opposing apartheid via the oil blockade.    A full obituary detailing his remarkable life can be found on the MUA website. 

His funeral will be held at:  The NSW Trades Hall auditorium tomorrow Friday April 1st at 10.30am

Please Note: ``There will be a live feed of the service to a screen in the atrium/café area for those unable to get into the limited auditorium space and you are very welcome to attend, and please circulate these details to your contacts.

Following the service a wake will be held at the Ben Lexcen Terrace, Australian Maritime Museum from 1pm to which you are also warmly invited. 

2. International Day of Mourning – Thursday 28th April

  Invitation to attend International Day of Mourning with families who have lost loved ones in the workplace:

  • Sydney:   11:45am for 12:00pm at Reflection Park, Darling Harbour
  • Blacktown Council unveiling of memorial Statue:    Thu 28 April, 9:30am -10am Blacktown Showground  Reflection Pool (near café).
  • Central Coast:   Thu 28 April, 11:45am for 12noon
    Ourimbah Wall of Remembrance, Chittaway Rd.

 3. Mothers Day Classic - Sunday 8 May 2015

 Walk or Run it doesn’t matter how you walk or run it just matters why.

Emma Maiden and Rita Mallia will be running again and will be joined by Secretary, Mark Morey so please either join them or sponsor them.

Register online:  mothersdayclassic.com.au/register-online.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:14 PM

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

Add your comment