February 5, 2008

With the Union’s bans on paperwork and administrative functions now in place and effective since Friday night the dispute has been listed in court twice in two days. The first, Monday – morning under the Department’s threat of no negotiations until the Union lifted its bans. In those hearing the Judge recommended that the bans be lifted and that both the Union and the Department continue to negotiate.

That afternoon the Union’s State Committee of Management met via phone hook up to consider the Judges recommendation and the Department’s short lived attempt at belligerence. Whilst the State Committee was meeting both Union and Departmental representatives continued negotiations and substantial progress was made.

The parties met again on Tuesday morning under the spectre of the Industrial Relations Commission recommendation that the bans be lifted and the negotiations continue. While the Judge has made it clear that she is not impressed with the dispute, the bans currently in place appear to have done the trick in getting the Department to finally start putting some realistic figures on the table.

Accordingly all paperwork and administrative bans remain in place (other than firefighter pay or leave related matters) until lifted by receipt of a Union instruction signed by the State Secretary.

With less than three weeks remaining until members are missing out on money, the Union has called in all station delegates attached to Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong for a briefing on the dispute and on what is required of members to assist in winning a decent wage outcome.

Further to this the State Committee has resolved to call a Special General Meeting of members for 10 am Friday February 22nd. The meeting will be held in one part and has been set for the largest available Trade Union meeting hall in Sydney. The NSW Teachers Federation Auditorium at 39-41 Reservoir Street Surry Hills.

This is your dispute and if you want more money you will have to get involved.

Simon Flynn

State Secretary