Operating Report for 2017
The Federal Executive is pleased to present the Operating and Financial Report for 2017. A large part of the work of the Federal Office has been assisting Branches with a myriad of obligations, case work and advice ranging from liaising with the FWC on Right of Entry permit obligations. Development continued for 3 branches on the new upgraded membership data base due to go live in late November 2017. Rule change cases were also undertaken for a number of Branches who sought to follow their members after a decision by a state Government to privatise parts of that states public service. Assistance was also provided for national bargaining endeavours, particularly for entities created by COAG such as National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the National Rail Safety Regulator which necessitated a complex process of bringing all the separate jurisdictions of state regulation into the federal sphere, standardising the conditions to be Fair Work compliant and to then develop on single enterprise agreement. A number of presentations have been made during the year to respective branch membership forums across Australia.
Our union continued to drive the People’s Inquiry into Privatisation campaign, alongside PSI Australia affiliates. The Inquiry was launched in August 2016 with the objective of consulting with communities about the impact of privatisation. The independent Inquiry panel, chaired by David Hetherington, conducted 12 public hearings around the country over September-October 2016. The final report for the inquiry is due to be launched 23 October 2017.
During the operating year the union made national submissions to the Productivity Commission’s Human Services Inquiry and the NDIS Costs Inquiry, the Senate inquiry into the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016, and the Commonwealth Treasury’s Social Impact Investing Discussion Paper. The Union made submissions and lobbied politicians concerning a number of bills which were before parliament and Senate Committees, more particularly, the Fair Work (Vulnerable Workers) Bill and the Fair Work (Ensuring Integrity) Bill.
Ongoing participation in a range of ACTU committees, from Executive to Growth and Campaigns through to the activities of the 6 Taskforces established to review the state of the movement and to consider options for the movement as we deal with emerging and challenging issues. Staff also participated in a number of these including Women’s Committee, COIL, Industrial and Legal and the Youth Committee. Our union participated in the ACTU’s NexGen conference in June 2017, including being involved in running a number of workshops. The Union continued its deep involvement in the ACTU’s “Change the Rules” project by giving expert advice and advocacy concerning proposals to change the Federal statutory labour law in Australia.
CPSU SPSF Federal Office continued to work collaboratively with the Public Service International (PSI), our Global Union Federation (GUF). In February 2017 we sent a delegation to the OSRAC (Oceania Sub-Regional Advisory Committee) meeting, ahead of the PSI World Congress which is occurring in October 2017. At OSRAC we build closer relationships with PSI affiliates in our region, and committed to a plan of action which includes working together on issues such as privatisation, free trade agreements, and collaborating on sectoral issues. Our union representative Clare Middleman was elected to the Youth Titular position for Oceania, to take up the position after the PSI World Congress.
The Federal Secretary was asked by the PSI to address the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Asia Development Bank held in Yokohama Japan. The presentation was to focus on the emergence of Public-Private Partnerships in the region for infrastructure investment by the Bank in member countries and the problems associated with that in terms of skills and training for local workers, private ownership of much needed public infrastructure and the concerns about this model moving into the delivery of services.
The New Zealand PSA invited the Federal Secretary and the Victorian Branch Senior Industrial Officer to show case the move from multi individual contracts of employment towards a single public service set of classifications and terms and conditions of employment.
The Senior Legal Officer attended a preparatory meeting for the 2017 International Labour Conference of the ILO in Manila in May. In June he then attended and made interventions before the Committee on the Application of Standards of the ILO.
The Union has been involved in an ongoing project to improve the governance of the Federal Union. This has included;
• amending the governance policies to take into account changes to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act
• Further modernising and amending the SPSF Group governance rule in Chapter C
• Commencing a project of reforming the eligibility rule of the Group in Chapter A to remove duplication, introduce plain English, and to make it easier to navigate and understand
Over the course of the year the Federal Office sought applications for and interviewed for a legal cadet to work with the Senior Legal Officer in the Federal Office. The successful candidate has commenced work and has primarily assisted with the governance improvements being undertaken by the Federal Office.
Number of employees - The number of equivalent full time employees at 30 June 2017 was 5 (2016: 5)
Number of members - The number of members across 6 branches at 30 June 2017 was 76,389 (2016: 78,410).
Member Assets - Member Funds at 30 June 2017 was $2,888,469 (2016: $1,764,897)