UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 24 May 2018
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:30PM

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

PRESENT: E. Maiden (Acting Secretary) and K. Minter (Research Director).

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The President, Com. J. Kiejda opened the meeting and in doing so recognised the traditional custodians of the land on which the meeting was held, The Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

MINUTES:

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved:

That the minutes from the meeting of 17 May 2018 as circulated be received.”

Com. J. Wright (ASU) seconded.

CARRIED

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved:

That the minutes of the meeting of 17 May 2018 be adopted.”

Com. N. Rich (USU) seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: M. Morey (Secretary), T. Costa (Assistant Secretary), B. Holmes (NSWNMA), G. Kelly (USU), R. Fortescue (AMWU), D. McKinley (ETU), M. Kearin (NSWNMA), M. Whaites (NSWNMA), R. Tonkli (SDA) B. Smith (SDA).

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved:

"That the apologies be received and accepted.”

Com. S. Davis (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE:
Com. P. Noack (AWU) asked if the Acting Secretary was aware that at 12.01am on 25 May 2018, workers at IXON at Port Botany will be taking protected industrial action. In response, their employer has announced an indefinite lock-out. Scab workers are being flown up from Melbourne tonight.

IXON has refused to negotiate in good faith. Members have been offered a two­‑tier wage offer which has been rejected. The AWU are meeting tonight to plan the next steps.

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden thanked Com. P. Noack for drawing this to Unions NSW’s attention and added that this was symptomatic of a current IR system where the rules are broken. This is why we need to change the rule.

Unions NSW will pass details of the lock-out onto the NSW union movement who will show their support for the workers at IXON.

EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1. From: Transport Workers’ Unions of Australia
re:  TWU – Wage Review & XPO and reads:-

I just wanted to send a quick note of thanks to you and your team for the turnout at both yesterday’s annual wage review press conference and hearing as well as today’s XPO action at Martin Place.

With an increasing number of workers missing out on the protections of a minimum wage, yesterday’s events were an important opportunity for Matt Hill and other On-Demand riders stories to be heard. We appreciate the ongoing support on Unions NSW and your team in this fight. It has been another important week in the campaign and your support and work has been key to that.

In particular, I also wanted to thank the many retired members that joined both events. Their support, participation and wisdom is invaluable. So please pass on my thanks to each of them.

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved: 

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW acknowledges the important work of the TWU in defending on-demand workers and their right to a minimum wage.

Unions NSW thanks all who supported and attended.”

Com. P. Reid (USU) seconded.

CARRIED

2. From: National Tertiary Education Union re: Strike action next Wednesday at University of NSW and reads:-

Yesterday’s release of the ACTU’s “Jobs you can count on” report resonated with higher education workers.  In the university sector, growth in the number of students has meant staff numbers have increased by 40 per cent in the last decade, but 80 per cent of these new jobs are insecure jobs.

At the moment, the main mechanism NTEU members have at their disposal to address these trends is through enterprise bargaining, but a highly casualised workforce, a broken industrial relations system and hostile employers has meant this round of bargaining has been difficult, with employer actions including termination of agreements.

Members at UNSW are seeking job security provisions in their new agreement being negotiated right now, including to protect them from increased workloads from the introduction of trimesters.

With a successful protected action ballot closing this morning, University of NSW members today met and voted to go on strike for 24 hours next Wednesday 30 May.  Pickets will be set up from 7:30am and operating from 8:00am at six major entrances to the Kensington campus.

The members at UNSW would appreciate any visible support from unionists in other sectors at the picket on Gate 9 of UNSW campus on High St, Kensington to help show UNSW management that we are part of a movement committed to Change the Rules.

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW congratulates NTEU members at UNSW for standing up against casualisation and taking industrial action.

Unions NSW supports the striking members and encourages all affiliates to show their support on the picket line on Wednesday.”

Com. B. Mendonca (NUW) seconded.

CARRIED

3.  From. National Union of Workers:  Thank you and reads:-

On Thursday 10th May the National Union of Workers New South Wales Branch was formally welcomed back to the fold as an affiliated member of Unions NSW after a very challenging and difficult two year period in the NUW’s history as part of the union movement in both NSW and nationally.

After an enormous amount of work undertaken by the NSW Branch leadership, officials and staff following the recommendations of the TURC, i.e. the implementation of strict policies, guidelines, transparency and governance, I am pleased to report that the National Union of Workers New South Wales Branch is again proudly representing our members as they so rightfully deserve.

The NSW Branch was given overwhelming support from Unions NSW and a number of affiliated unions during the horrendous period referred to above.  It would be remiss of the Branch and its leadership not to formally recognise that support.  Therefore, we extend our gratitude and thanks to Unions NSW and all those Unions tonight.

We are honoured to be accepted and welcomed back to Unions NSW and pledge our commitment to help grow and honour the union movement in New South Wales and Australia.

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW acknowledges the gratitude from the NUW and its leadership, in relation to the support provided to them by Unions NSW and affiliates over the past couple of years.”

Com. M. Issanchon (NUW) seconded.

CARRIED

REPORT:

Electoral Funding

Com. K. Minter said that yesterday the NSW Liberal/National Government, with the support of the Christian Democratic Party voted to significantly restrict the ability of unions to campaign at elections. The Electoral Funding Bill passed through the both houses of Parliament and will be in place for the 2019 State Election.

  • Unions and other third-party campaigners will have their expenditure cap halved during election periods.
  • Third party campaigners will be restricted from ‘acting in concert’ effectively outlawing join union campaigns.
  • In the debate, Labor, the Greens and Shooters Fishers and Farmers Parties acknowledged the important role of third party campaigners and opposed these restrictions.
  • Unions NSW and affiliates are now considering the constitutional validity of these amendments.  

Unions NSW will be holding a briefing for all affiliates on changes to the NSW Electoral Funding Laws with Holding Redlich at 9.30am on Wednesday 30 May 2018 in the Unions NSW Executive Boardroom.

The Acting Secretary, Com. E. Maiden moved:

“That the report be received and noted.”

Com. C. Leiva (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. MUA Sydney Rally Tuesday, 29 May 2018 
The Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney Branch, has initiated a rally in the face of multiple attacks from bosses using the ‘Fair Work’ Commission for 11:00am on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 commencing at the Sydney Town Hall and marching to the Fair Work Commission at 80 William Street Sydney

The MUA is inviting contingents from all unions to attend the demonstration.

2. Gilmore Launch Change the Rules Campaign Launch 
The Gilmore “Change the Rules” Campaign will be launched at 6:30pm on Thursday, 31 May 2018 in the Sunset Room of the Bomaderry Bowling Club with Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Come and join us to start the campaign to change the rules for working people not only at work but also in the communities in which they live.

Please feel free to forward this invite to interested members, activists, their friends and families who live or work in the area.

3. Union Lawyers & Industrial Officers Organisation (ULIO) CPD Seminar Series 
ULIO is pleased to announce a CPD seminar exploring the recent FWC full bench decision of  Saied Khayam v Navitas English Pty Ltd [2017] FWCFB 5162 Unfair Dismissal and Fixed Term contracts

Details of the seminar are as follows:

4.30pm-5.30pm, Friday, 1 June 2018, Executive Boardroom, Level 3, Unions NSW, 4-10 Goulburn Street, Sydney. 

If you would like to attend this free event please RSVP on the following link for catering purposes:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/union-lawyers-industrial-officers-organisation-ulio-cpd-seminar-series-tickets-45882892968.

4. Parramatta Makarrata
Reconciliation for Western Sydney (R4WS) has invited Unions NSW to an evening based on the Makarrata Process on 6 June 2018.

The event is being held in cooperation with City of Parramatta Council and their Aboriginal Capacity Building Team.

Events details are:

Exploring a Process Toward Healing our Nation

Wednesday 6th June, 7:30-9:30pm (Networking and refreshments begin at 6:30pm) Reg Byrne Community Centre, Wentworthville.

To register click on Parramatta Makarrata Event.

The event is a conversational workshop, guided by Carol Vale, to explore and deepen understanding of the Statement from the Heart created at Uluru last year and the suggested process of truth telling about the history of what actually happened to First Nations People and what can be done to bring about change for the benefit of all.

The event is happening just after Reconciliation Week and continuing its theme for this year "Don't Keep History a Mystery". 

Please register on Eventbrite at Parramatta Makarrata Event.
Please promote this event widely, on email and social media. The flyer is attached.

The next meeting of the First Peoples Network is on Monday 25 June 2018 (2-4pm) with the Interim Executive meeting with the Unions NSW Executive on Thursday 31 May 2018 (Executive starts at 4.30pm).

5. Invitation to Blue Mountains and Lithgow Unionists to join CRUMA's visit to Lithgow
Wednesday 13 June, Lithgow Workers Club 3.30-5pm.

CRUMA (Combined Retired Union Members Association) warmly invites all unionists to join them for light refreshments at the Lithgow Workers Club on Wednesday 13 June 3.30-5pm following their tour of Lithgow tourist highlights and the Gardens of Stone.

Bookings required for catering numbers:   John Koch  0450 276 036 cleliakoch@bigpond.com.


6. Unions NSW Industrial Seminar Series
Unions NSW will be holding its first two industrial seminars for 2018 in June. The purpose of the seminar series this year is to share knowledge and experience from within the union movement and everyone is welcome to attend.

The first seminar will be held on Friday 15 June (4:30-5:30) Executive Boardroom, Level 3, Unions NSW, 4-10 Goulburn Street, Sydney and will look at the campaign for equal pay that United Voice are running. Natalie Dabarera (Industrial Officer) will speak about the FWC decision in February regarding an equal remuneration order for early childhood educators and its implications; and Gabe Kavanagh (Big Steps Strategy Coordinator) will speak about the Big Steps campaign for equal pay for childhood educators. This seminar will be followed by drinks.

The second seminar will be held on Thursday 28 June (12:30-1:30) Executive Boardroom, Level 3, Unions NSW, 4-10 Goulburn Street, Sydney and will look at running discrimination claims in NSW. We will have two speakers from the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW -  the President, the Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC, and the Senior Manager of Operations, Elizabeth Wing. They will speak about the complaint process in the ADB and the advantages of pursuing claims there for union members and their representatives. This seminar will be catered.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 5:50 PM

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