UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY 6 JULY 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

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

PRESENT:  M. Morey [Secretary], S. Barbar [Senior Campaign Organiser].

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 22 June 2017 as circulated be received".

Com. R, Fortescue (AMWU) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 22 June 2017 as circulated be adopted".

Com. M. Donnelly (CPSU) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:  Apologies were received and accepted for: T. Costa and E. Maiden [Assistant Secretaries], M. Gatfield (UV), P. Remfrey (PANSW), J. Wright (ASU), G. Kelly (USU), B. Parker (CFMEU), B. Smith (SDA).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the apologies be received and accepted".

Com. P. Reid (USU) seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From:  National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), United Voice, Australian Services Union (ASU) & NSW Nurses & Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) -
 regarding Make Renting Fair Campaign and reads:-

NSW is one of the only jurisdictions in the world where under rental laws tenants can be evicted for no reason.  Along with safe, secure and fair income from work, access to secure and affordable housing is a key to a decent quality of life for union members.  For over 2 million people in NSW renting their homes, and skyrocketing housing prices, mean many have no option but to rent.  The existence of "no grounds termination" has a severe impact on many working people and families.

The Tenants Union of NSW have commenced a campaign to have this changed.  The campaign calls on the NSW Government to remove "no grounds evictions" from the Act, and in their place, provide landlords with an expanded list of 'reasonable grounds' for ending an agreement.  This would require landlords to be transparent about their reasons for ending a tenancy, and give renters the chance to challenge an unfair eviction.  More information and how to help the campaign can be found on the campaign website at rentingfair.org.au.

The campaign has been endorsed by over 50 organisations including the NTEU, Nurses & Midwives Association and United Voice.

We ask that Unions NSW endorse the campaign, encourage affiliates to do likewise and circulate information on the campaign to Unions NSW affiliates, supporter lists and social media channels.  We also ask that Unions NSW write to the relevant NSW minister and shadow minister urging them to adopt the changes called for by the Tenants Union as policy.  In lieu of speaking to second this item we ask that Ned Cutcher, Senior Policy Officer of the Tenants Union be given the opportunity to address the Council meeting tonight.

Ned Cutcher, Senior Policy Officer of the Tenants Union spoke to the correspondence and said:

"From 2011 to 2016 there was an 86,000 increase in people renting in addition to the 2006 -2011 being 40,000 increase in renters.

Contrary to popular belief that renters are mainly single, evidence shows that the largest group of renters are families with children as well as vulnerable workers.

The campaign is now calling for the NSW Government to remove the "No Grounds Evictions" from the Act especially since there is growing expectation that the NSW Government will be amending the legislation this coming September."

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW endorse the 'Making Renting Fair' campaign and will encourage affiliates to also endorse the campaign.

Unions NSW will circulate the campaign website www.rentingfair.org.au and other campaign materials to affiliates.

Unions NSW will also write to the relevant NSW Minister, The Hon. Matthew Kean MP, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation along with the relevant Shadow Minister urging them to adopt the changes called for by the Tenants Union as in their policy".

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  From: Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers (AIMPE):regarding Harbour City Ferries - Petition and reads:-

An AIMPE member employed by Harbour City Ferries in Sydney has started a change.org petition as a result of the NSW State Government's decision to remove the Lady Northcott and Lady Herron vessels from service.  The two Ladies are to be replaced by smaller capacity modern vessels.  The petition can be accessed from the Unions NSW website.

The Lady Class vessels have tremendous iconic heritage and tourist value for our harbour, offering a unique mode of transport rarely found elsewhere in the world.

As well as this, there is practical arguments to be made for their retention, in that their larger capacity allows for easing the burden resulting from overcrowding on other vessels. their ability to fill in on the busy Manly route as a relief vessel thereby reducing running and timetable pressures,, and their efficiency in navigating the busy waterways of Sydney harbour due to their double-end design resulting in less congestion at Circular Quay.

I ask for the support of all Unions NSW affiliates in the signing and distribution of this petition.  I know it would be very much appreciated by all the workers down at the Ferries to see as much support for this cause as possible.

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the AIMPE in their fight to save the two iconic ferries from being replaced with smaller vessels.

Unions NSW will circulate the petition to affiliates and support their campaign."

Com. A. Claassens (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED.

3.  From:  Construction, Forestry, Mining & Engineering Union, Construction & General Division (CFMEU C & G) - regarding 20 June Rally, Support for David & Goliath Struggle and reads:

Further to our previous submission we would like to show the video of the 20 June 2017 rally and formally thank affiliates for their support on the day.  Further, we would like to report on a David and Goliath struggle between Boral and employees at the De Martin & Gasparini concrete yard where Boral have threatened to sack all 100 employees unless they bend to the company's demands to amend their EBA to make it code compliant with the 2016 Code.  This will see them lose clauses related to job security and loss of their shutdown weekends that provide much needed family time in a 6-7 day industry where workers do 70 hour weeks on average.

Despite extraordinary pressure by Boral where the company's CEO Michael Kane has made it clear he has no compunction in sacrificing these 100 workers, many of whom have given decades of loyal service and who have made DMG the preeminent concrete placement company in the country, the workers have voted to reject the company's demands.

We are meeting with these workers tomorrow and it would be great to have a letter of solidarity from Unions NSW to read to these workers.  They are on the frontline of the attack on hard fought for worker wages and conditions.  The support will be well received.

Com. R. Mallia spoke to the correspondence and said, "Thank you to all affiliates for their strong support in turning out to the War on Workers National Rally in Sydney on June 20 rally declaring it a super success with attendance well over 10,000."

Com. R. Mallia briefed affiliates on a David and Goliath battle regarding the latest dispute emanating from the Federal Government's new building code and said:

"This dispute centres around 110 workers being threatened with their jobs by Boral's CEO Michael Kane.  Every day, since June 28, workers have been subjected to mandatory toolbox talks with the primary purpose of pressuring workers into signing an agreement that results in significant cuts to their pay and conditions.

In contrast, Boral have granted the CFMEU only a one and a half meeting with their members to discuss this agreement."

Com. R. Mallia sought a letter of support from Unions NSW to be addressed to these 110 workers pledging the wider movement's solidarity in this important struggle.

Com. R. Mallia reported that the Building Code 2016 will be the subject of a disallowance motion in the Senate on August 9, 2017.

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

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW proudly stands in solidarity with these courageous members in this important fight to protect their pay and conditions.

Further, Unions NSW will write a letter to the 110 Boral workers to express our solidarity."

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED.


REPORTS:

1.  Don't Sell Our Buses

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey reported that on Wednesday 28 June 2017, Unions NSW held a community assembly against the NSW Government's attempt to privatise buses in Region 6 area which captures the inner west and southern parts of Sydney.

The assembly attracted over 300 attendees including affected bus drivers, maintenance and other depot workers as well as political, community and religious leaders.

On Wednesday 5 July 2017 there was a commuter day of action where hundreds of activists descended on their local bus stop and asked passengers to sign the petition in an effort to reach 10,000 signatures.  The event was a huge success and was widely reported in the media that evening.

The campaign has been so successful to date that the Ministry of Transport in NSW have gone to great lengths to discredit this campaign in their social media outlets.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted."

Com. A. Claassens (RTBU) seconded.

CARRIED

2. Wyong Hospital - Hospital Privatisation

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) reported on Hospital Privatisation and was delighted to announce on the combined health unions successful campaign victory in forcing the NSW Government to abandon their scheme to privatise Wyong hospital.  This victory is in addition to the other two wins (Bowral and Goulburn public hospitals).

Com. B. Holmes acknowledged that the success of the campaign was due to the flawless determination and collaborative approach of the HSU, NSWNMA, ASMOF and Unions NSW.

With two hospitals saved from the government's privatisation scheme, we now have three to go; (Maitland, Bowral and Shellharbour Hospitals).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted."

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  Centenary Dinner - The Great Strike of 1917

To commemorate the commencement of the Great Strike of 1917 that began at the Randwick & Eveleigh Workshops.

Date: Wednesday 2nd August, 6:30pm for 7:00pm
Venue:  CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveligh
Tickets:  $160 per person or tables of 10 $1600.

Guest Speakers:
Mike Bailey
Sally McManus
The Hon. John Graham MLC

To purchase tickets, please visit the Unions NSW website or contact Robyn Griffith at Unions NSW, 9881 5916.

2.  Council Meetings

Please Note: The Council Meeting will not be held next week, Thursday 13 July (school holidays).

And Note: Instead of a Council Meeting on Thursday 20 July, a 1917 Centenary Musical Play - 1917 Strike! will take place.

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 5:50PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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