|Issue No 79||24 November 2000|
Deadline Approaches for Organiser of the Year
There's just one more week to get in nominations for Labor Council's Organiser of the year Award, to be presented at the Annual Dinner on December 8.
The award, along with a $500 study prize, is being offered for the second year, and will be judged by Labor Council secretary Michael Costa, President Sam Moaitt and TUTA director Michael Crosby.
Transport Workers Union activist Bruce Penton won the inaugural award last eyar for his working in torganising the private bus industry. He is planning to use his study money to travel to the USA in early 2001 to work with the Teamsters.
Nominations should include and outline of the organizing work and should be addressed to the Secretary, Michael Costa by facsimile 9261 3505 or email mailto:[email protected].
Organising Works Graduates - Ready, set go!
Meanwhile, union officials and the organisers of the future gathered at Poytonz in Carlton this week to mark the graduation of the Organising Works trainees of 2000 and celebrate the trainees' first nine months of working for unions.
Thirty graduates, their mentors and officials of the Organising Works Traineeship, together with ACTU President Sharan Burrow and Secretary Greg Combet, attended the dinner.
Graduates travelled from Western Australia, ACT, Queensland and NSW to attend the dinner, which was held in the same week as their final training. The trainees will now work as organisers for unions around the country.
The trainees said they were proud to have had the privilege of improving working people's lives, and to be part of what had become a close-knit group of friends and colleagues.
Lorin Booth who was selected by the Australian Services Union, Central & Southern Qld Clerical and Administrative Branch, said that the last nine months had enabled her to come into contact with a vast array of workers under different conditions and scenarios.
"I've been visiting workers at universities and hospitals in metropolitan areas as well as regional areas such as Toowoomba and the west. Whenever a demarcation issue erupts it's good to have a network of other organisers to talk to and remind each other that there's another 75 percent of unorganised workers out there."
Harriet Adams, who completed her traineeship with the CPSU ACT branch, organised employees in the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and Medibank Private. Harriet will continue to work at the CPSU and described the challenges she faced in her more recent activities when organising civilians working at the Defence Department.
"Often the civilian members would be working beside Department personnel but under a different award," she said "It takes a lot of diplomacy and sensitivity as well good communication and liaison skills to ensure a successful outcome. The Organising Works training helped me with that."
Eamonn O'Hearne-Large was selected as an ACTU trainee and placed at the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union to assist with the ACTU Organising Unit program. He said he had had a tumultuous year organising hotel workers - the highlight was the high-profile Living Wage rally held earlier in the year.
"It was rewarding to be involved in a campaign where people were organising themselves and supporting each other," he said.
Eamonn is returning to RMIT next year to complete his degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources. He hopes to work on campaigns on a part-time basis.
The evening was also an opportunity to pay tribute to one of the founders of the Program. In 1993 Mary Stuart led an ACTU delegation to the United States to observe and analyse new recruiting techniques. On its return the delegation recommended that the Organising Works Traineeship be initiated. The first group of trainees was convened the following year.
Mary described her working life with unions, first as a delegate while working as a teacher, then as an organiser and finally as Senior Industrial Officer. She advised the trainees to "remember where they had come from and to be proud of themselves because it takes a lot of heart to make change".
Greg Combet congratulated the trainees for their commitment and completing the program. Sharan Burrow presented the graduates with their certificates and then ... the dancing began.
Interview: Back on Track
After blowing the whistle on rail privatization, NSW Transport Minister Carl Scully is rebuilding bridges with the trade union movement.
Unions: The Problem with Organising
It may be the new mantra, but Brisbane Institute director Peter Botsman argues that organising may be the wrong to go for a movement attempting to attract a new breed of workers.
International: Burma: Workers Act on ILO Ruling
Energy workers' trade unions across the Asia-Pacific have urged Western oil and gas companies to "cease investment in Burma while the use of forced labour continues".
Economics: Rethinking Incomes Policy
While many have thrown incomes policy out with the Acoord bathwater, Graham White argues it still has a role to play.
History: What Goes Around Comes Around
Labor Council's Mark Lennon argues that while trade unions - and labour history - might be unfashionable, there's life left in both of them.
Education: Peas in a Pod
Both sides of politics must take blame for funding levels in our public schools, argues NSW Teachers Federation president Sue Simpson.
Satire: Hurley Rebukes Actors' Guild: I'm No Actor!
Liz Hurley has responded angrily to claims by actors that she crossed a picket line by filming an Estee Lauder ad.
Review: It's Only a Job
In a stunning new book, author Phil Thornton and photographer Paul Jones have combined to portray working life in all its diversity through the eyes of ordinary people like process worker Sharonak Shannon
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