The USU’s Summer 2017 edition of United has been sent to members. Check it out.

USU General Secretary Graeme Kelly

USU General Secretary Graeme Kelly

As we wind up another year it is important to reflect on what we are fighting for and how we can achieve it.

Have we, as union members, had a successful year? Have we gone forward or has 2017 been a year where we have gone backwards?

As I look back over the past twelve months I am proud to say that we have had a successful year on a number of counts.

We successfully negotiated the Local Government State Award with 98.98% of members voting YES to the new Award.

We played a role in the decisive election victory in Western Australia where the LNP was stopped from privatising power in that state.

We took the fight directly to the ballot box in the September local government elections asking candidates to support local jobs and local services.

We had our outstanding Organiser Sandie Morthen win Innovative Organiser of the Year at ACTU Congress and our National Qantas Negotiating Committee win the prestigious Jennie George Award for the negotiation of their EA.

We had another successful sleepout and raised $15,775.02 for Father Riley’s Youth off the Streets.

We have finished renovations on our resort at Port Macquarie providing members and their families an even better place to stay for great value holidays.

We have updated our website and ramped up our presence on social media.

Add to that a successful Conference and Women’s Conference, a number of great workplace victories for members across all industries, nearly a quarter of a million dollars paid to members for journey to work insurance as well as successful training of our delegates and we really are looking at a successful year. We even welcomed members from Norfolk Island for the first time, negotiating with them for a collective award.

I could go on however I really want to focus on the most important achievement for the year and that is how we have built workplace power by being stronger together.

Members right across our diverse membership have stood together and shown strength and it is working!

Unions work.

It’s as simple as that and we work best when we work together. Just look at two recent examples of the union movement working together with the community to achieve great results. The campaigns by the CUB workers and the Streets workers prove that the community is ready to get behind us.

So as we head into 2018 let’s make sure we become even stronger. Talk to your workmates about joining the Union … and make sure you are switched on to community campaigns by joining our facebook community.

On behalf of the USU Executive and staff I wish all members and their families a safe and happy Christmas and a successful 2018.


Graeme Kelly
USU General Secretary