UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY 7 JULY 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 23 June 2016 as circulated be received”.

Com. A. Holland (ASMOF) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-                          

That the minutes of the meeting of 23 June 2016 be adopted”.

Com. S. Turner (PSA) seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

fROM:   The Australian Workers Union, Greater NSW Branch (AWU) appointing S. Ackerman in place of J. Buhler for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved: -

"That the credential be received and the delegate welcomed.”

Com. J. Sinclair (NTEU) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:   Apologies were received and accepted for: T. Costa (UNSW), A. Gardiner (PSA), G. Kelly (NTEU), R. Collison (AWU), D. McKinley (ETU), C. Boyle (SDA), J. Wright (ASU).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-      

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. S. Phillipe (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

Motion of Condolence – John Taylor, SDA 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey said it was his sad duty to report the passing of John Taylor.

Com Morey said John was an SDA member for almost 50 years commencing work with Nock & Kirby Hardware. He was an active loyal member and delegate of the SDA.  A lifelong unionist he maintained his commitment to unionism in retirement, continuing as a delegate to Unions NSW where he was always a regular attendee on Thursday nights.

John was a quiet and unassuming man who was thrilled when he was awarded the Scroll of Honour by Unions NSW.   It is the quiet and unassuming, but dedicated unionists like John who are the backbone of our movement. He will be deeply missed.

 A MINUTE’S SILENCE WAS OBSERVED

GUEST SPEAKER:

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey welcomed Mr Smokey Thomas, President of Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) and invited him to address delegates on the challenges of privatisation and public private partnerships in Canada.

Mr Thomas spoke regarding the number of issues his union faces that are quite similar to issues in NSW. Amongst his points were a number of Public-Private partnerships (PPP) which the Ontario government pursues and the serious problems this can cause.

He said, “The auditor-general of Ontario found that over a 5 year period, the government had to spend $8.2 billion more than it had to in order build infrastructure such as hospitals, roads, bridges and schools. The Ontario government claims it’s because the contractors take on the risk of the service.”

In the stories he told, it seems private companies cut corners wherever they can.  He said in older state-built hospitals there were rarely ever injuries or incidents. The hospitals were built more like a gaol than a hospital with walls made of cinderblocks that you can’t break.  He said In one new hospital built under a PPP, there was drywall with metal stakes inside that are fire resistant. These stakes can be pulled out of the wall and used as a weapon.  One patient took over a ward for two hours because there is not enough security staff in the new public-private partnership.”  “A new ‘super gaol’ was built to house 2500 inmates. The new cheaper locks were all electronic and connected to one another. All it took was an inmate to pee on the lock and the whole system shorted out. The walls were also full of mould.” 

Smokey said PPPs were a total rip off of the public purse and lead to serious safety concerns.  Another example of PPP was the Trans-Canada Highway bridge, costing $50billion, the bridge snapped in the middle during last year’s intense cold winter.

Smokey finished by assuring delegates that Public-private partnerships were evidently not the way to go.

The Secretary. Com. M. Morey thanked Smokey Thomas for his insightful address into the problems of having PPP projects and what occurs when government cuts corners to save money.

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From Public Services Association (PSA):   The PSA seeks the support of Unions NSW and affiliates for their March to Mike’s protest event scheduled for 11:00 am Monday 18 July 2016.

The event is to protest the privatisation of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC); the forced transfer of the ADHC workforce to the private sector and the imposition of a substandard transfer package.

This package has a transfer payment of “up to” 8 weeks and a 2 year employment protection period setting the bar at an all-time low for NSW privatisations. This is the same package that was rejected but imposed on PSA members working in Home Care last year.

NSW is at risk of the bar being set even lower should the Government’s GSE Regulation on transfers to the non-government sector be allowed to pass through the NSW parliament.  Details of our event are as follows:

10.45am meeting at the Ferry Wharf in Manly

Then march to Mike Baird’s electoral office @ Wentworth Street Manly. 

 Protest commences at 11:00am. 

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW will promote this event to affiliates and on our social media channels.”

 Com. S. Turner (PSA) seconded the resolution.               .

CARRIED BY ACCLAMATION

2.  Thank You and Farewell Alison Rahill, Community Organiser Unions NSW:  Unions NSW received commendation correspondence from the following organisations.  In appreciation and acknowledgement for Alison’s hard work over the years in the union movement and her involvement with community organisations.

  • Alex Claassens, Branch Secretary, RTBU
  • Violet Roumeliotis,  SSI
  • Lina Cabaero, Asian Women at Work Inc
  • Joe Chrastil and Sr, Industrial Areas Foundation Northwest US Canada
  • Sr Maribeth Larkin, Industrial Areas Foundation Northwest US Canada
  • Reece Proudfoot, Peoples Climate March Organising Committee
  • Louise McKeogh, Parramatta Catholic Diocese  
  • Genevieve Kelly, NTEU
  • Mel Gatfield, United Voice
  • Mary Waterford, Western Sydney Community Forum
  • Jess Fell, Inner South West Community Development Organisation
  • Gary Derkenne, Chaplain, Communities Uniting.

David Barrow, Lead Organiser, Sydney Alliance spoke to council acknowledging Alison’s contribution to community organisations.

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

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW thanks Alison Rahill for all her hard work, particularly creating meaningful relationships between the union movement, community organisations, Sydney Alliance and the broader community.  Alison has been instrumental in developing broad links with people and groups which now bring a rich cultural diversity to the movement and Unions NSW.

Further, her work in community campaigns and in particular the re-election of Deb O’Neill in the 2010 Federal election is a tribute to her skill and tenacity in getting things done for working people.

We wish Alison all the best in the future and hope she will not be a stranger to Unions NSW and the broader union movement.”

 Com. J. Sinclair (NTEU) seconded the resolution.                   

 CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  Federal Election

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey reported on the Federal Election held last Saturday 2 July.

He said the last 12 months of campaigning has been unbelievable thanks to some incredible work from a number of target seat coordinators. These coordinators in each of the marginal seats worked tirelessly with some of them moving out to the seats and living there. Every one of them made a difference as they provided the organised infrastructure that the union movement put in place.

The union movement in 2007 provided a 1.6% swing away from the conservatives. This time 2.5% of the swing can be attributed to the union movement in Australia and in NSW. Whether it was healthcare, $100k degrees, access to better jobs, to retirement incomes; it did not matter, our message was clear and it resonated with the electorate. “In relation to the so-called “Medicare scare campaign”. It is only a scare campaign if it is not true and the people of Australia knew this government lied. It continues to lie.”

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey thanked every union that supported the campaign - we went beyond the call. Thousands of doorknocks, thousands of phone calls, endless street stalls, endless train stations and they all mattered.”

The Secretary. Com. M. Morey said the other person to thank in particular is Sally McManus. She drove the campaign for 12 months from the ACTU. She went out of her way to make sure that everyone participated. Where there was a problem, she reached out and brought people together. Looking at the campaign that was run here in NSW, it was a hive of activity. Everyone came together to create one of the best campaigns we’ve seen in this state.

In the last 100 days of the campaign NSW had:

  • 186  street stalls run by locals
  • 2382 locals participated in campaign activities
  • 599 street stalls, rallies and high vis activities
  • 8000 conversations with undecided union members

Federal Election Campaign – Target Seat Results

Seat

Organiser

Swing

Result

Banks

Alison Rahill

-1.63%

Liberal retain (51.17 TCP)

Dobell

Aarin Moon

5.45

Labor win

Eden Monaro

Unions ACT

6.44%

Labor win

Gilmore

Lisa Kremmer

-3.55%

Too close to call (50.23 TCP)

Lindsay

Mary Yaager

4.6

Labor win

Macquarie

Adam Hall

6.86

Labor win

Macarthur

Maryanne Stuart

12.61

Labor win

Page

Sharryn Usher

-1.04

National retain (52.45)

Paterson

Newcastle Trades Hall Daniel Wallace  &
Anne Rutherford

11.07

Labor win

Reid

Alison Rahill

1.29

Liberal retain (54.52 TCP)

Robertson

Salim Barbar

-2.36

Liberal retain (50.73 TCP)

INVITATION :  Federal Election - Thank You Party

The Secretary, M. Morey said as a special thank you for the efforts of the NSW trade union movement, our members, local activists and our local community union groups over the last 12 months you are all invited to join us for: 

Mighty NSW Trade Union Election Celebration”

Thursday 4 August at 5:30pm-8:30pm   Trades Hall Auditorium

The evening is themed orange and/or black so everyone is requested to wear something in those colours.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

That the report be received and noted.”

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.                     .

CARRIED

2.  Section 19 Review – Outcome of ‘No Extra Claims’ Dispute

Com. Sarah Davis, Unions NSW Industrial Officer reported on Section 19 Review.  

The NSW Industrial Relations Secretary sought to include ‘No Extra Claims’ clauses into a number of awards as part of the Section 19 Review Process. A hearing was held in January this year, with Submissions made by Public Sector Industrial Relations, NSW Rural Fire Service, PSA and Unions NSW.

The Unions NSW and PSA submissions opposed the NSWPSIR claim, arguing the Section 19 Review was not the appropriate mechanism for the inclusion ‘No Extra Claims’ clauses and that such an overreach would substantially alter the intended purpose of the Section 19 review Process.

On 24 June the Industrial Relations Commission handed down a decision on the matter and opposed the inclusion of ‘No Extra Claims’ clauses in awards through the Section 19 Review Process.  

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted.”

 Com. S. Turner (PSA) seconded.                     .

 CARRIED

3.  Return to Work Inquiry

Assistant Secretary, Com. E. Maiden reported on the Return to Work Inquiry and the lead up to this Review and to highlight the problems with the return to work system. Unions NSW will conduct a Return to Work Inquiry.  Unions NSW will visit 10 locations around the State to collect further stories from injured workers face-to-face.

All stories will form part of the Unions NSW submission to the Law & Justice Committee that is commencing a Review of Workers Compensation Laws in NSW Parliament in August 2016.

For further information about the inquiry please follow the links:

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-

That the report be received and noted.”

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.                     .

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. St Vinnies CEO Sleep-out

Congratulations to our Union Secretaries - $21,304.00 has been raised.

Thank you to our Union CEOs who participated in the sleep-out:

  • Mark Morey, Unions NSW   
  • Alex Claassens, RTBU
  • Bernie Smith, SDA
  • Gerard Hayes, HSU
  • Barbara Nebart – SDA  Newcastle
  • David Bliss – SDA Newcastle

You can still donate to St Vinnie’s Sleep-out please go to Unions NSW website and follow the link.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:48 PM

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