UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 2017
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

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

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


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.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the minutes from the meeting of 2 March 2017 as circulated be received”.

 Com. P. Byrne (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:-                           

“That the minutes of the meeting of 2 March 2017 as circulated be adopted”.

  Com. W. Baxter (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: P. Farrow (AWU), R. Collison (AWU), Alex Claassens (RTBU), D. McKinley (ETU), C. Bolger (Prof.Aus), G. Kelly (USU), J. Dixon (NSWTF).

The Secretary, Com. M Morey moved:-       

“That the apologies be received and accepted”. 

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

From: Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU):-  The CFMEU writes to congratulate Mark Morey and Unions NSW and its affiliates on the outstanding success of today’s rally. It was also great to have Ged Kearney and Dave Noonan address the rally. We thank all the inspiring union leaders who spoke. Our struggles are one and the same.

The turnout by all union affiliates and rank and file union members was incredible, with a great display of union banners and great speakers. It was wonderful to be part of such a collective event. The CFMEU and all the building unions appreciate the solidarity.

We particularly want to thank Holly Rebeiro from the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association for leading the rally in song and Unions NSW Salim Barber who helped coordinate the City of Sydney and the police. We also acknowledge the courage of CFMEU delegate Luke Allen for standing up and clearly reminding us what is at stake.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates the CFMEU and all the unions for the great turnout at today’s ABCC Rally.

We have sent a strong message to the federal government, Xenophon, Hanson and Hinch that it is to their political peril to ignore the voices of working people.

Workers stand together for fairness and justice at the workplace, in their communities and their homes.

Together we cannot be defeated.”

Com. Brian Parker (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.  Workers Compensation: Report of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

Com. E. Maiden reported that the Standing Committee on Law and Justice today released their “First review of the workers compensation scheme”.

The report is limited in its reforms and unclear in what it believes should occur going forward. The Committee demonstrates a limited appreciation of the failures of the NSW workers compensation system since the Government’s cuts in 2012.

The workers’ compensation scheme is no longer fulfilling its core purpose of assisting injured workers to return to work.

While 25 of the 26 recommendations by the Committee are supported by Unions NSW they represent a minimalist approach to redressing the inherent failings of the system. Unions NSW said in our submission to the Committee that the whole system should be scrapped and replaced with one based on our 12 principles of workers compensation reform. The recommendations fail to address any of our concerns.

Disappointingly the Report does little for the 5,000 injured workers due to be cut off the scheme from October 2017. This is further evidence of the Government’s callous attitude to injured workers.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. B. Holmes (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  May Day 2017
Com. R. Mallia reported that this year’s May Day will be big. May Day is a massive event world-wide, and is even a public holiday in some States.

The march will be on Sunday 7 May 2017. The focus of the march will be on penalty rates and public holidays being under attack, casualization, the ABCC, seafarers being replaced by exploited workers and multi-nationals not paying their fair share of tax.

Plans are underway to try and secure Billy Bragg to attend the march. The march will assemble at Belmore Park and march to Prince Alfred Park where there will be rides and kids’ activities. This will be paid for by a levy on affiliates, which will also entitle them to 10 free tickets to the May Day toast.

The Committee wants to maximise participation as much as possible and sees this as a real opportunity to send a message about the attacks on workers.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. M. Thomson (NTEU) seconded.

CARRIED

3.  International Women’s Day 2017
Com. M. Gatfield reported on IWD on Wednesday. United Voice’s members walked off five sites with affiliates and Unions NSW supporting them. They had media coverage all week about the equal pay case. Many workers have been getting in touch to get involved. United Voice are now blitzing all centres complemented by advertising and billboards over next month. There will be a repeat of this week’s action in September 2017.

For many workers’ it was the first time they had taken industrial action. The workers love their work but feel undervalued. They have had enough and now recognise it is time to get serious. Parents are 100% behind the issue and the action.

Com. Gatfield also invited all affiliates to turn out for the International Women’s Day March on Saturday 11 March 2017. This is an incredibly important event for highlighting the attacks on women workers particularly the recent penalty rates decision. She looked forward to seeing everyone there.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. M. Gatfield (UV) seconded.

 CARRIED    

4.  Mardi Gras
Com. R. Fortescue (AMWU) reported that it was a successful and fun evening supported by the unions. The dancers were fabulous. They were in time after hours of practice at Trades Hall. There were 90 spots and these spots could have been filled three times over. They highlighted the issue of penalty rates. It was important the leadership was there. Hopefully it will be bigger next year.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey said it was a great night and thanked Salim Barbar (UNSW), Robyn Fortescue (AMWU), Erin Watt (UV) for her choreography and the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association for space to create the float. He noted the member for Blacktown, John Robertson also marched with us.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. R. Fortescue (AMWU) seconded.

CARRIED

Reminder

Nominations are open for the position as listed:

FINANCE  & GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE MEMBER: (1) to be elected 

Nominations should be on the prescribed form available from Unions NSW and returned to the Mary O’Donoghue via email modonoghue@unionsnsw.org.au prior to the close of nominations.

Closing date for nominations is 4:00pm on Wednesday 15 March 2017.

Should a ballot be necessary it will be held on Thursday, 16 March 2017 between 5.00pm and 7.00pm at the Trades Hall.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. P. Noack (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. Book Launch - You're Invited - Super Legacy Book Launch

Hear The Hon. Chris Bowen, Shadow Treasurer in launching:

Keating's and Kelty's Super Legacy: The Birth and Relentless Threats to the Australian System of Superannuation by Mary Easson

When: 5:30 for 6.00pm, Thursday 16th March

Where: Sydney Trades Hall 4 Goulburn St, Sydney

Entry via 4 Goulburn St or 377 Sussex St, Sydney - the now beautifully restored ground floor venue

RSVP: www.unionsnsw.org.au/superbooklaunch17

2. Common Cause Workshops and Resources
Common Cause Australia will be holding two interactive workshops at Unions NSW in a few weeks.

The workshops will be held from 9:00am to 3:00pm in Training Room One on Thursday 23 and Friday, 24 March 2017. There is a 20% discount for unions with the code: unions20

3. Penalty Rates Website
The penalty rates website is now live. Check it out at www.savepenaltyrates.org.au

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:00 PM

                                                                

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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