COAG, ROE, ROC, ACTU, PSI & FWC - A Huge Year
A large part of the work of the Federal Office has been assisting Branches with compliance obligations, case work, and advice ranging from liaising with the Fair Work Commission on Right of Entry permits. Development continued for three branches on the new upgraded membership data base that went live in late November 2017. 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. During the operating year the union also made national submissions to the Human Rights Commission inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces and the Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Services on behalf of our Legal Aid members. The Union also made lengthy submissions on the 2019 iteration of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill and the Fair Work Amendment (Proper Use of Member Benefits) Bill.
There was ongoing participation in a range of ACTU committees, from Executive to Growth and Campaigns, the Industrial Legislation Committee, the Trade Group, the International Committee Women’s Committee and the Youth Committee.
The Federal Secretary was elected to Vice President of ACTU at the Triennial Congress held in Brisbane in July 2018. All branches participated in the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign in the lead up to the Federal Election in May 2019.
Our union lobbied and campaigned on trade issues over the reporting period, including lobbying the Australian Labor Party on their trade policy which now includes a commitment to not sign up to trade agreements while in government that will force the privatisation of public services. Our union has also participated in the stakeholder engagement sessions at the negotiations rounds for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in Bangkok (July 2018), Auckland (October 2018), and Melbourne (June 2019)
CPSU is represented on the global governing board of the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability (CICTAR) and supported the report released by CICTAR in December 2018 exposing the tax practices of outsourced labour hire corporations in the Australian Taxation Office, including companies such as Serco that hold contracts with state governments.
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
- 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 the higher compliance responsibilities since the establishment of the Registered Organisations Commission have required continuous improvement of the Federal and Branch rules of the Union.
During the Period relevant to this Report the Federal Office:
- completed a new iteration of Chapter C which established ex officio positions on the Federal Executive;
- removed a redundant sub-branch from the rules of the NSW Branch
- provided a draft to harmonise the NSW Branch rules with that of its Associated Body
- commenced the work to establish free standing rules for the WAPOU Branch Right of members to resign
CPSU SPSF Federal Office continued to work collaboratively with the Public Service International (PSI), our Global Union Federation (GUF). In May 2019 we sent a delegation to the OSRAC (Oceania Sub-Regional Advisory Committee) meeting in Nadi, Fiji, in preparation for the Asia Pacific Regional Conference (APRECON) in Bali, September 2019. At OSRAC we built closer relationships with PSI affiliates in our region and progressed our plan of action which includes working together on issues such as privatisation, free trade agreements, and collaborating on sectoral issues.
Our union representative, National Campaigns Officer Clare Middlemas held the positions of Oceania sub-titular and Asia-Pacific young workers’ titular for PSI over the 2018-19 year, and attended the PSI Governing Body meeting in Geneva, November 2018 and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2019 on behalf of PSI.
The National Campaigns Officer also attended the International Labour Conference of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) in Geneva in June 2019 as part of the ACTU delegation.
The number of equivalent full time employees at 30 June 2019 was 5 (2018: 5)
The number of financial members across 6 branches at 30 June 2019 was 75,851 (2018: 74,869)