Council Report: 10 August 2019

Social justice is union business

Federation holds a proud, firm and long held belief that social justice matters are union business. These beliefs were strongly displayed during the August Council meeting.

Following addresses from 16-year-old Daisy Jeffrey, from School Strike 4 Climate, and Nick Deane, from the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network, the crisis of climate change was debated.

The Global Climate Strike on 20 September is an opportunity to put action on climate change front and centre of the political debate. It also brings together a united cross-section of society to protect and defend the environment and work to ensure the viability of future generations in terms of sustainable food and water, health, education, housing and secure employment.

August Council also congratulated and acknowledged the efforts of activists, campaigners and politicians who supported the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill NSW 2019, which was passed by the lower house on 8 August. Advancement in access and progression in woman’s rights is something the union has long pursued. The Working Women’s Charter, moved at the 1975 ACTU Congress, identified significant issues for women. It outlined key objectives, such as women’s access, entry and participation in the workforce; equal pay and access to promotion, education and training; childcare provisions; and flexible work and parental leave, but at the time it did not include reproductive healthcare. In 1980, Federation addressed this omission and carried the decision “that this Annual Conference endorses the ACTU Working Women’s Charter with the amendment that there should be free, safe, legal abortion for those who choose it” and this remains unchanged as Federation’s policy position.

It is the Federation’s position that matters of social justice, advanced through unionism, provide protections and betterments for future generations.

Social justice is, and will continue to be, union business.

Filling vacant Councillor Positions

The AEU NSW Teachers Federation Branch Rules allow for associations or groups of associations to conduct elections to fill vacant Council positions. Rule 36 (8) (b) provides that: “If the unexpired term of the position [Association Representative on Branch Council] does not exceed three-quarters of the term, the association, or group of associations which the vacancy has occurred, may, at a meeting of members, appoint a financial member from the association or group of associations to fill the casual vacancy.”

Associations with vacancies on Council will receive notice of when these elections will be taking place. For more information regarding attending Council, contact your Organiser.

— Nicole Calnan, Deputy Secretary (Communication and Administration)