UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 4 MAY 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

The Acting President, Com. P. Noack occupied the Chair.

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

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The Acting President, Com. P. Noack 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 27 April 2017 as circulated be received”.

 Com. J. Buhler (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-                            

“That the minutes of the meeting of 27 April 2017 as circulated be adopted”. 

 Com. J. Buhler (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED 

APOLOGIES:  Apologies were received and accepted for: J. Kiejda (President), T. Costa (UNSW), J. Dixon (NSWTF), R. Collison (AWU), B. Smith (SDA). T. Wright (PSA).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:     

“That the apologies be received and accepted”. 

Com. P. Davies  (Professionals Aus) seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:  

From:  Australian Workers’ Union (AWU): appointing V. Falconer in place of Paul Fallow. 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:      

“That the credential be received and accepted”. 

Com. P. Davies (Professionals Aus) seconded.

CARRIED

QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE:

Com. P. Noack, asked the Secretary was he aware of the protest at Millers Point regarding the evictions.  The Secretary said he was  aware of the resident’s protest and Unions NSW will circulate information to affiliates requesting their support at the protest.

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) -  regarding flexibility for working Dads follow up. Affiliates may recall  correspondence on 9 February of the campaign by the CFMEU on behalf of NSW Health painters Craig and Cameron Zammit to defend their family friendly work hours.

The CFMEU is pleased to report that after working on this issue for at least the last two years, we have managed to gain a compromise that allows our members to still pick their kids from school.

This has come about through a lot of hard work and support from a range of people, other members at Liverpool Hospital, other unions, politicians and a media campaign.

After letters, meetings, and a number of visits to the Commission, culminating in an stay on their hours at the eleventh hour, which gave us a short ten week reprieve to step up the media campaign that was successful in getting the Minister for Health Brad Hazzard to intervene in the issue.

From this, the Hospital gave the Union a call to negotiate a positive out for our members. 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved the Executive recommendation:
       
“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the CFMEU on the success of their campaign on behalf of NSW Health painters Craig and Cameron Zammit.

Further, this has been an important win for Craig, Cameron and their families and an even better win for dads and their families across all public sector workplaces”. 

Com. B. Parker (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

Com. P. Connell spoke to council and said “this is an important win for our members and all working people.  Thank you to the CFMEU and Unions NSW for the work on this dispute.”

2.  From Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU):-  regarding the Rally against the ABCC and changes to penalty rates.  The CFMEU calls on Unions NSW, in conjunction with the ACTU, to:

  1.  Organise a major weekday demonstration to demand legislation to protect penalty rates and the repeal of the ABCC.

  2.  Hold a combined unions delegates’ meeting to discuss mobilising union members to attend the demonstration, and to  launch an ongoing industrial and community campaign against the ABCC and the Liberal Government’s anti-union, anti-  worker policies.

Recognising that Unions NSW has already given in principle support for such a delegates’ meeting, we call on Unions NSW to set a date for a combined union delegates’ meeting in the month of May.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW notes that it has consulted with a number of union secretaries in particular those who are the Building Trades Group and through this consultation the date for the combined union delegates meeting has been set for 28 July 2017”.

Com. B. Parker (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

Com. B. Parker spoke to the correspondence and said “because of the clash with May Day we decided through the Building Trade Group (BTG) to hold the combined union delegates meeting on 28 July.  The impact of the ABCC and particularly the building code has begun to effect and lower wages and conditions in the construction sector."

3.  From South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) regarding the exploitation of young workers and sham traineeships as we all now is a national scandal and illustrates the depths of unlawful and behaviour on the part of too many employers and the exploitation of young workers. 

As part of our efforts to assist young workers on the South Coast to recover unpaid wages and entitlement we have discovered that employers are resorting not only to "zombie" agreements of the pre- work choices era but also rorting tax payer funded training programs. 

The use of establishment of fake traineeships which offer little or no training to full time University students effectively makes State and Federal Governments exploitation partners. 

To make matters worse, the young workers such as those at The Outback Steakhouse Restaurant in Wollongong are not even aware in many cases that they have signed binding 3 year contracts.

We congratulate and thank Unions NSW and our affiliates for your ongoing support in this struggle and request your support for an independent inquiry into the Traineeship system and a comprehensive audit of existing hospitality traineeships to ensure that young workers are not being exploited and the training system defrauded.

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

That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW will continue to support the SCLC for an inquiry into the traineeship system”.

Com. A. Rorris (SCLC) seconded.

CARRIED 

Com. A. Rorris spoke to the correspondence and said "lawlessness is endemic in the workplace on the part of employers.  Unions have been raising issues all over the country.  Acknowledge the brave workers, particularly on the South Coast standing up against their employers.  The traineeship system is being rorted for employers to exploit female workers and gain incentive payments for the government.  In Outback Steakhouse there were 16 trainees, four full-time workers."

Com. R. Brown (NSWTF) said "the impact of sham traineeships is huge and the State and Federal Governments are actively complicit." 


4.  From: Shop Distributive and Allied Employees; Association (SDA)
advising of the SDA penalty rates blitz in the marginal seats of Gilmore and Robertson in the lead up to Mother’s Day to highlight the sacrifice retail workers make serving the community, and therefore their entitlement to fair pay and compensation on Sunday.

The SDA has taken out newspaper and radio advertising, billboard advertising and social media and digital advertising to support the message that cutting penalty rates is an unfair cut to low paid workers.

We will be undertaking workplace visits in support of this. We want to inform you and other affiliates of this activity and paid advertising so that if any other affiliates were wanting to undertake workplace visits in their own areas of coverage you could have the benefit of that advertising as well.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW encourages all affiliates to undertake workplace visits in their own areas of coverage to take advantage of the SDA advertisements and internships.

Unions NSW also congratulates Arthur Rorris and the SCLC for the good work they have done already in receiving lost money for young workers”.

Com. R. Tonkli (SDA) seconded.

CARRIED

Com. R. Tonkli spoke to the correspondence and said "they took legal advice on successful appeal.  Because of the impact of the decision, we will appeal. News to come in relation to the blitz. Targeted advertising in lead up to Mother’s Day on importance of Penalty Rates.  Other unions may wish to capitalise on this opportunity to speak to members about penalty rates."


5.  From: National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)
wishes to acknowledge all those involved at Unions NSW in organising the International Day of Mourning Service in Sydney last Friday.

Members of NTEU’s state council who attended were moved particularly by the speeches about the workers who had recently died in workplace accidents in the agriculture and construction / maritime industry, and were reminded of the importance of the ongoing fight against laws and codes that hinder the ability of unions and their delegates to be active in workplaces and enforce safety standards.

NTEU members had an additional reason to attend the service this year. 

Having attained a PhD in his chosen field of scholarship, Dr John Dalton had worked for fifteen years as a casual academic in strung together contracts and most recently taught across Western Sydney, Macquarie and Sydney universities.   

At the age of 45, on not receiving any offers of work in the second part of last year from any of the universities where he had been teaching, Dr Dalton committed suicide in the Blue Mountains on 2nd August 2016.  Our industry is one in which the pressures caused by unacceptable levels of job insecurity create a danger from which the consequences can be severe.

Close friends of Dr Dalton attended the service last week placing a memory card in his honour, joining other families and friends of deceased workers. They were grateful of the opportunity to honour and remember their friend and colleague in this way.

The message of the day - to remember the dead and fight for the living – has relevance for all unions and has sharpened our resolve in our fight for more secure work in our industry.  

NTEU wishes to acknowledge and thank the officers and staff of Unions NSW for their ongoing work and organisation of this meaningful service.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW will continue to support the NTEU in their fight for more secure work in the university sector. 64% of university workers are in precarious work.  John was well known to activists.

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded. 

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  International Day of Mourning

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey reported on the International Day of Mourning and said it is an important day to remember the tragic deaths of workers whilst at work and associated with work related diseases. A number of events were held across the State to commemorate this day.

The Darling Harbour event was well attended with over 600 people and workmen from the adjoining building site attended the service.  Other services were held on the Central Coast, Blacktown, Newcastle, South Coast and were well supported.

The Secretary, thanked Mary Yaager, Robyn Griffith and Neale Towart for their work in organising the event last Friday.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

 CARRIED

2.    Returning Officers Report

Unions NSW Nominations
Com. V. Falconer advised in accordance with Rule 24 of Unions NSW Rules, nominations will open at 9:00am on Friday 28 April 2017 and close at 4:00pm on Friday 12 May 2017 for the following position:

  • VICE PRESIDENT: (1) to be elected

Nominations should be on the prescribed form available from the Secretary.

Should a ballot be necessary it will be held on Thursday 18 May 2017 between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. V. Falconer (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

3.   Airtasker

The Secretary Com. M. Morey reported on Airtasker Heads of Agreement. To extend protections to the worker.

  1. Advertise and promote award rates
  2. Dispute settlement procedure with Commission
  3. Insurance product, worker injury
  4. WH&S information sheets, produced by Unions NSW.

Control test is now irrelevant.  We need the law to catch up people will be better off under our agreement but the fight continues.  The Gig economy can no longer think the responsibility of employment.  The Fair Work Act needs to be amended.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Millers Point Rally - Tuesday 9 May at 9:30am

A rally has been organised to defend the residents of Millers Point who will be evicted this week. 
Meet at 32 High St, Millers Point.

2.  May Day – Sunday 7 May 2017

March for Equality & Your Rights@Work
Meet at Hyde Park North from 12 noon then March to Prince Alfred Park for the family fun day.

3.  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 have already raised $7,171.84 and No.9 on the Leader Board


4.  Industrial Seminar - Wage Theft in Australia

What is its extent and what we can do to stamp it out."

Thursday 22 June 2017  2pm-4pm - Trades Hall, Auditorium

For further information contact Linda Carruthers 0448 451 450

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:15 PM

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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