UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES THURSDAY 14TH MAY 2015
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM.

The President, Com. M. Issanchon occupied the Chair.

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

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The President, Com. M. Issanchon 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. Lennon moved:-

“That the minutes from the meeting of 7th May, 2015 as circulated be received”.

 Com. J. Taylor seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

  “That the minutes of the meeting of 7th May 2015 be adopted”.

 Com. C. Bodnar seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:  United Services Union:- appointing Narelle Rich in place of  Christie Toy as their delegate for the rest of 2015

From:   Australian Workers’ Union, Greater NSW Branch:- appointing S. Bean in place of R. Collison and C. Bodnar in place of                S. Bali for tonight’s meeting

From:   Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation , NSW:- advising Dennis Ravlich would no longer be their delegate for              Unions NSW meeting. ASMOF will advise new delegate for 2015 in due course.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:- 

“That the credentials be received and the delegates welcomed.”

 Com. V. Falconer seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: R. Collison, J. Kiejda, C. Bolger, A. Claassens, S. Bali, B. Holmes. 

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com. J. Owen seconded.

CARRIED

EXECUTIVE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE: 

1.  From Blacktown Council:-  thanking Unions NSW for supporting their campaign against the SBS Film: Struggle Street.

Council believes this was an unnecessary attack on the integrity of the working class of Mt Druitt. In particular, Council wish to also thank Mr Graeme Kelly, NSW General Secretary of the United Services Union and their members at Blacktown Council who got involved in our garbage truck protest.  Mark Morey and the team from Unions NSW showed that the broader community rejected the portrayal of Mt Druitt in this film.

The film was touted as a positive depiction of people struggling through life’s adversities and to overcome the stereotype of images of western Sydney, in particular Mr Druitt.

Unfortunately, the film reinforced the negative stereotypes and undertook a superficial overview of the challenges of people struggling with mental health issues, family crisis, and drug addiction.

Mt Druitt boasts over 102,000 residents with many successful stars from sport, entertainment, academics, business and many other fields of endeavour.

The portrayal of this suburb in the film by SBS attacks the social fabric of our society and has the possibility of scaring our youth as they seek future employment opportunities.

The real challenges of social disadvantages and health issues were barely discussed.  The Federal and State Government has slashed or removed funding all together for many important programs. 

Blacktown Council will be calling for SBS to hold a film festival with appropriate prize money that will explore the virtues of Mt Druitt and allow the same air time.  We seek Unions NSW in this campaign.

Once again, thank you and the supporters of affiliate Unions in standing up to this attack on our working class suburb.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved the Executive Recommendation:-

 “That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW and Blacktown Council, Mayor Steve Bali, and the USU be congratulated for standing up for the Mt Druitt community.

 Further, Unions NSW supports the idea of SBS sponsoring a local film festival and broadcasting the finalists.”

 Com. P. Reid seconded the resolution.

Com. Tony Bleasdale spoke.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.   Secretaries Planning Day

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon, reported on the planning day held the day before that had, among others things, considered the following policies for ACTU Congress:

 Radioactive waste

 ACTU congress:

 1. Congratulates the Muckaty Traditional Owners and their supporters for sustained and successful efforts in defence of their community, culture and country.

 2. Notes and welcomes the decision of the federal government to not further pursue the contested site at Muckaty for a national radioactive waste management facility.

3. Calls for full transparency, public input and best practice technical and consultative standards during the current revised site nomination and selection process, scheduled to conclude by mid-2016. 

4. Expresses concern at the federal government’s continuing commitment to finding a single remote site for radioactive waste to be disposed (low level) and stored (intermediate level) to the evident exclusion of other waste management options. Congress reaffirms its support for a broad independent inquiry that examines all options for radioactive waste transport, storage and management. 

5. Commits to supporting both communities opposing the nomination of their lands or region for a dump site and any workers who refuse to facilitate the construction and operation or transport and handling of radioactive waste materials destined for any contested facility or sites.

Domestic Violence

Congress believes access to paid domestic violence is a right that should be secured in legislation and will campaign and advocate for it to be included in the National Employment Standards. Campaigning efforts will place pressure on the Federal Government to extend the right to paid domestic violence leave to all working Australians, including casual workers.

Com. N. Lang, spoke in support of this resolution.

Reform of workplace legislation 

Congress will negotiate with Labor, to ensure when elected that they will also take a strong and ideological stand in favour of workers’ rights to organise in their Unions and institute significant changes to workplace legislation including:

  • Allowing for industry and sector bargaining;
  • Legislating to ensure the rights of Union delegates to be recognized and supported to organize in their workplaces;
  • Ensuring workers have the opportunity to speak to their Union officials without fear, particularly as they first enter the workplace;
  • A genuine and dynamic good faith bargaining system;
  • Ensuring that Awards are a strong and relevant standard for the workers they cover;
  • Stopping the targeting of certain groups of workers by abolishing the ABCC.

Superannuation

Congress endorses the payment of an extra 2% superannuation for women workers and will develop other proposals to redress the fact women do not receive equal pay, are more likely to have career breaks and, on average, live longer than men.

Com. E. Maiden, spoke in support of this resolution.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received”.

Com. N. Lang seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be adopted and the policies be supported for adoption at ACTU Congress”.

 Com. Genevieve Kelly seconded.

CARRIED

2.    Camden Worker Death

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon, reported on the death of a 56 year old construction worker on Camden Valley Way that morning. He expressed his concern at the rising number of workplace fatalities and the reduced emphasis by WorkCover on prosecutions.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received”.

Com. G. Prestons seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be adopted and Unions NSW calls on WorkCover to restore prosecutions to ensure the law is enforced properly and employers are called to account for breaches of WHS laws”.

 Com. V. Falconer seconded.

CARRIED

3.  NSW PARLIAMENT MATTERS

Late correspondence was received from the TWU regarding the inaugural speeches of Labor MPs in recent days. The speech given by Chris Minns had caused some controversy. The TWU and others have written an open letter regarding the speech.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-     

 “That the report be noted.”

 Com. P. Reid seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:- 

That the report be adopted and Unions NSW thanks those Parliamentarians who in their maiden speech thanked the trade union movement for its support.

Further, we express our disappointment at the comments of the Member for Kogarah on the continuing role of unions in the ALP.

Finally affiliates are advised of the opportunity to support an open letter on the matter.”

Com. M. Cartwright seconded.

CARRIED      

ANNOUNCEMENTS:   

1.   ACTU Congress

26 May 2015 – 28 May 2015Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

This is the largest and most important gathering of Australian Unions and it sets the Union agenda for the following three years.  Delegates will debate and vote on policies regarding the workplace, rights and campaigns to improve wages, conditions and the standard of living for Australian workers and their families.  The Congress will elect the leadership of the ACTU along with other office–holders.  The focus of the ACTU 2015 Congress is the role of unions in addressing inequality and building a better future for all Australians.

Register online: http://www.actu.org.au/actu-events/actu-congress-2015

 2.   ACTU – Build a Better Future

3.   Support Union Aid Abroad APHEDA – Annual Raffle

      Tickets are available online or from Unions NSW reception.  Raffle will take place Thursday, 4 June 2015.

4.   Public Meeting - Cuba, the U.S. and the Future of the Revolution with special guest speaker, Kenia Serrano, Member of         Cuba's National Assembly and President of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples

      7.30 pm Saturday, 6 June 2015 Teachers’ Federation – 23 - 33 Mary Street, Surry Hills  

5.   Saturday, 6 June 2015 at the NSW Teacher’s Federation

11.30am      MEET THE NEW CUBAN AMBASSADOR                                                 

Report from Cuban Ambassador to Australia, José Manuel, and  discussion

 1.30pm      PANEL - YO SI PUEDO, Expanding Cuban program for Aboriginal  adult literacy with José Manuel Galego [Cuban                            Ambassador],Jack Beetson [Literacy for Life]

3.30pm      PANEL - CUBA IN TODAY’S WORLD with Kenia Serrano, Tim Anderson, Marce Cameron, guest East Timorese                              doctor

 In December last year, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro simultaneously announced plans to “normalise” diplomatic and trade relations. This warming of relations occurs in the context of a half-century U.S. financial and trade embargo of Cuba, which is still in place. 

 “No one should dream that the new policy announced means acceptance of the existence of a socialist revolution 90 miles from Florida,” Raúl Castro has said. Cuban representatives insist that Cuba’s sovereignty, internal affairs and revolution are not negotiable. Meanwhile revolutionary Cuba has continued its outstanding internationalist traditions, sending almost 500 doctors and nurses out of more than 15,000 volunteers to go to West Africa to fight the deadly Ebola epidemic.

 Come to a speech and discussion led by Kenia Serrano on the changes in Cuba, the shift in U.S. relations and the future prospects for Cuba’s internationalist and socialist revolution. 

Australia Cuba Friendship Society – Sydney www.sydney-acfs.org

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT  6:20PM

 

Tagged: Minutes

Add your comment