UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

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

PRESENT:   Com. T. Costa [Acting Secretary], K. Minter [Research Officer].

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 Acting Secretary, Com. T. Costa moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 31 August 2017 as circulated be received."

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

The Acting Secretary, Com. T. Costa moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 31 August 2017 as circulated be adopted."

Com. R. Fortescue (AMWU) seconded.

CARRIED.

APOLOGIES:   Apologies were received and accepted for:  M. Morey (Secretary), E. Maiden (Assistant Secretary), P. Noack (AWU), J. Dixon (NSWTF), C. Bolger (Prof. Aust),B. Holmes, J. Roden, W. Baxter, M. Whaites (NSWNMA).

The Acting Secretary, T. Costa moved:

"That the apologies be received and accepted."

Com. M. Kearin (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From National Tertiary education Union (NTEU):-  advising the NTEU is bargaining for new Enterprise Agreements for university workers at most universities across NSW.

Despite bargaining occurring for months at Western Sydney University there has been little progress at the negotiating table.  WSU NTEU Branch has called a half day stoppage for the morning of Wednesday 20 September.  Actions will include a rally at the new WSU Parramatta CBD campus, 169 Macquarie Street.

Sydney University NTEU Branch held a strike on the University Open Day Saturday 26 August.  They held another stop-work meeting last Monday.  During that meeting the Vice Chancellor announced a push poll of all staff "to seek the views of staff on their readiness to move to a formal vote on the University's proposals for the next Enterprise Agreement (EA)."  The poll was open for a short period (till Tuesday midnight).  The question was loaded.  Despite this the NTEU Branch mobilised and resoundingly beat the management position.

The University of Sydney NTEU Branch want to resolve the matter quickly and believe the formal positions of the management and the union are not that far apart.  However, it seems managements needs to understand this and understand the Branch will fight if necessary.  They have called a twenty-four hour strike on Wednesday 13 September.

UTS NTEU Branch is currently engaging in a protected action ballot that closes next week.

The NTEU seeks Unions NSW support for these actions and encourages other unions to send members to them on the days of industrial action.

The Acting Secretary, Com. T. Costa moved the Executive recommendation:-

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the NTEU for the result in the survey of staff at Sydney University and that all affiliates be encouraged to support the proposed industrial action days to be taken by NTEU members at universities across NSW by sending members and officials to attend."

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

CARRFIED

Com. M. Thomson, Secretary, NTEU spoke to Council and said: "the termination of the Murdoch agreement raised concerns around the approach universities will take in bargaining.  At Sydney University they thought they were close to an agreement.  Management sent out a push poll in agreement with very short notice.  However, the union won overwhelmingly".

2.  From Shop, Distributive and Allied Association (SDA):- The NSW Liberal Government is trying to spoil Christmas for thousands of retail workers permanently by taking away their Boxing Day.  Christmas is a time for family and friends.  To properly celebrate, retail workers need time on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day when shops are closed.  Christmas time isn't time without Boxing Day. It's time to travel to see loved ones, or it's time to see both sides of your family.  It's ta time to play backyard cricket, head to the beach and share a BBQ snag with family and friends.  It shouldn't be a day when workers are forced back to work behind cash registers and to stock shelves.

We appreciate all the essential service workers who give up so much of their family time on special days like Christmas and Boxing Day for our community, but the last time we  checked retail was not an essential service.

Retail trading hours in NSW are largely deregulated, permitting unrestricted trading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 360 and a half days a year.

Prior to 2015, Boxing Day was a restricted trading day where shops were required to be closed except in the Sydney CBD and designated tourist areas.  That mean of 70% of NSW retail workers were in areas where shops closed.  In 2015 and 2016 the Government passed laws to permit a 2year trial of Boxing Day trading across all of NSW.

After 2 years it was to be reviewed.  The recent Allan Review into Boxing Day trading received 1561 submissions, about 12 supported Boxing Day trading, the vast majority of the submissions called for an end to Boxing Day trading and to return the day to NSW families.  Despite this the review recommends extending Boxing Day trading across all of NSW even though the evidence before it and some of their own research found:

  • A decrease in sales growth; retails sales growth in December dropped in the two years since Boxing Day trading was allowed compared to the previous two years when shops closed;
  • Pressure on workers: 30-40 per cent of retails workers felt pressured to work on Boxing Day.  1 in 5 retail workers felt coerced to work against their will;
  • Ramifications for workers:  1 in 10 retail workers who said they didn't want to work on Boxing Day suffered negative consequences from their employer;
  • Confusion among retailers: half of the retailers didn't even know their workers had the right to have the day off;
  • Most retailers don't want it:  only 41% of retailers support shops opening on Boxing Day;
  • No support for workers;  the NSW Government has taken over six months to follow up workers' complaints of being forced to work, and has still not taken any action.

The evidence on Boxing Day trading is that there was no increased growth in sales over the month of December as a whole and there is no overwhelming public demand or need to shop on Boxing Day.  However, there is unreasonable pressure on retail workers to work on Boxing Day who then lose valuable shared time with family and friends.

Retail workers right to family time on Boxing Day is in the hands of NSW MPs.

When the Treasurer's Boxing Day legislation comes before Parliament we want all Members of Parliament to reject it and vote NO.

The open letter to NSW Parliamentarians will be printed in newspapers across NSW.  We started collecting signatures yesterday and SDA delegates, members and supports have already collected over 4,000 signatures in support.  We ask that any interested affiliates please circulate to members, family and friends our supporters email so they can add their name and support to this letter.

If you haven't added your name yet go to http://bit.ly/2gEm8hM and add your support.

We want NSW MPs to stand up for their communities and vote for the families of NSW.  Vote NO to Boxing Day trading! Give Boxing Day back to families.

The Acting Secretary, Com. T. Costa moved the Executive recommendation:

"That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW will support the SDA in this important campaign to ensure retail workers across the state can spend Christmas and Boxing Day with their families and friends.

Further, Unions NSW will circulate and encourage all affiliates to circulate the SDA petition as part of this campaign."

Com. B. Smith (SDA) seconded.

CARRIED

Come. Bernie Smith spoke to council and said: "there are only 2 days in a year that retail workers' get off work.  We ask affiliates, family and friends to add your name to the letter to tell our MPs to save Boxing Day.  Please support the Take the Time Campaign petition by distributing the petition to members."

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. Australian South Sea Islander Recognition Symposium Sydney
Date:           Friday, 8 September 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Location       Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney Branch), 365 Sussex Street, Sydney

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Shelly Legal, Sydney Care and the National Maritime Museum are working with ASSIPJ to host the 2017 Commemoration Symposium in memory of those who had their families torn apart and those that lost their lives as a result of Australia's Blackbirding trade.

2.  No Profit From Rape
On 29 October calls to 1800 RESPECT will be recorded and the files on callers will be the property of Medibank Health Solutions, fundamentally changing the service and putting at risk the tens of thousands of callers.  That day is also the last day that Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia will be providing specialist trauma counselling to 1800 RESPECT.

We will be calling MPs Monday 11 September and Tuesday 12 September.
Unions NSW will email the link to register.

3. Equal Pay Dinner - Wednesday 13 September 2017 at 6:30pm
Venue:  
Stack's Taverna, Darling Quarter, 1 - 25 Harbour Street, Darling Harbour

Guest Speaker: Clea Smith - Winner Cricket World Cup

Tickets are $65.00 each. Purchase single tickets or tables of 10

Tickets can be purchased via the Eventbrite site.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact Kate Minter at Unions NSW.

4. Labour Day Mass

5:30pm - Wednesday 4 October
St Patricks Church Hill,  20 Grosvenor Street, Sydney

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Labour Day Dinner
6:30pm for 7:00pm Wednesday 4 October
Strangers Dining Room,  Parliament House, Macquarie Street

Guest Speaker:   Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary

Tickets $130 per person available from the Eventbrite website; Labour Day Dinner 2017

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 5:50PM

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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