The United Services Union has received an order from the NSW Industrial Relations Commission reinstating a concessional half-day paid leave entitlement for Christmas Eve 2013.
Staff at Ripples currently work under an Enterprise Agreement which is supported by the NSW Local Government (State) Award. Negotiations are currently underway for a new agreement and Penrith Council has indicated it would like the agreement to relate to the Local Government Industry Award 2010 which is a "Modern" award and sits in the Federal industrial relations system.
As I read through this edition of United (see below) I am filled with pride for our great union and the delegates and members who continue to build on the strengths of our forebears.
A lot can be said about 2013 but the obvious statement is that we now have a Liberal National Party coalition government in Canberra - and we have Tony Abbott as our Prime Minister.
Many members will recall Mr Abbott’s strident tones supporting WorkChoices and the attacks he made on workers’ rights. During the election campaign his mantra was “WorkChoices is dead” however he is now eyeing off penalty rates and overtime in an attempt to carry favour with his big business buddies like Gina Rinehardt.
This is where the strength of everyday workers across Australia, with the support of their unions, becomes crucial. Without unity we cannot work to protect our rights, wages and conditions.
Make no mistake - the fight has begun, but we are ready for it. Already, as President Steve Birney discusses on page 2, superannuation is under attack in a move that will cost low income earners $25,000 on retirement.
Meanwhile at the state level Workers Compensation continues to cost injured workers with its draconian measures (see page 19) and in many Liberal Party dominated councils community assets are under threat.
I am glad to say we have had some great successes, with the community rallying behind local jobs and services in areas such as Blacktown, Wollongong, Newcastle, Hornsby and Wyong.
We have also seen a strong union agreement negotiated at Qantas and many other agreements underway across the private sector.
I wish to congratulate members and USU officials for their contribution to two great causes - White Ribbon Day and the Sleepout for Mission Australia.
As this year draws to a close I would like to let members know that we will be re-launching our Make the Switch campaign in early 2014 (see pages 6-7). It is vital that in the current industrial climate we remain strong and united and protect our union membership.
Thank you to members and their families for entering our Christmas card competition (see our winner on pages 24-25).
On that note, on behalf of the executive, staff and officials of the USU, I would like to wish all members and their families a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year - it promises to be a challenge but I know we are all ready for it.
USU General Secretary
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- World mourns Nelson Mandela
- Community to crash Blacktown Mayor's party after he refused to attend massive community meeting
- Flawed facts in Blacktown Council report being used to push permanent Mt Druitt Pool closure
- USU Men Swear
- Blacktown Mayor refuses to attend forum on child care cuts and pool closures, despite admitting he should have consulted public
- Essential Energy Agreement Within Reach
- USU WHITE RIBBON AWARENESS BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER
- Ambulance Service of NSW News Update
- Lifeguards have a say
- Subsidised council centres under threat