SitRep 41/2020

October 9, 2020

Final Reminder – Register Your Meeting

I am encouraged by the response of members to holding our AGMs differently this year. We have more than 50 meetings registered so far – and it’s not too late. Register your meeting by 1700hrs today, Friday 9 October. More info here.

This is not a time of business as usual. Under the ever-changing dynamic of a global pandemic, there’s a lot that we need to do differently. State Committee has proposed a structure that will allow for maximum member involvement and engagement, and it’s terrific to see members from across the State embracing this.

Rule 2.1 of your Union Rules states that our Rules cannot work in a way that is contrary to law. As we all know, the Government’s Public Health Orders, which are made under the Public Health Act, are legally enforceable. The operation of our Rules cannot contravene these Public Health Orders.

These temporary changes are not only to meet our legal obligations, but to protect you, our members, from unnecessary face-to-face contact and the associated risks. In prioritising your safety, we are also doing our bit to protect the wider community too. Even as I type this, there are new community transmission cases still being traced in NSW. This pandemic is ever changing, as must we be.

The AGM Agenda will largely be related to our draft log of claims, and we want you to vote on it. This way members will be with us at the negotiating table, telling the Department what we collectively want.

Every member had the opportunity to participate in our recent Award survey. The Award Working Group, made up of staff and permanent and retained members, designed and analysed the survey and presented summaries to State Committee. From this we have built a draft log of claims and we want you to endorse it – or not! That’s democracy.

Your Award bargaining team will be made up of officials, staff and members across both the retained and permanent workforces. This team will use the AGM results – an endorsed log of claims – as a negotiating base when we meet your employer.

As negotiations progress and the employer responds to your claims, we will be seeking further input from you. Ultimately, whatever is negotiated will be put to a vote.

We want every member to have a chance to have a say from start to finish. We want these AGMs to be purposeful and as participatory as possible in the current pandemic.

The fact is your employer may reject our claims and come to the table with their own. The NSW Government is going for our pay increases and that needs to be considered too. It will be up to members to decide what we do in the circumstance your claims are rejected and attacks are made on your conditions.

In our survey, we began discussions about possible industrial action as we proceed. We need a log of claims that comes from the membership and is endorsed by the membership – and it will be the membership that ultimately decides whether to take action or not.

Register your meetings and come along to one of our Zoom briefings where we’ll talk through how to run a meeting for those of you who are doing this for the first time. We’ll also talk about the plan for the Award and more.

For more background, check out SitRep39.

Get your meeting rego in today to have your say and I look forward to chatting with lots of you in the Zoom briefings.

In Unity,

Leighton Drury

State Secretary

You can download this SitRep here.



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