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

Secretary Graeme Kelly

General Secretary
Graeme Kelly

Over the years I have been asked many times “Why do you do it?”

In March this year, when asked to help our ASU colleagues in Western Australia, that question came back to me. Why fight?

The answer is simple. We fight for a fair go. We fight for fair jobs. We fight because if we didn’t, who would?

In Western Australia there was a lot at stake – and we in NSW who have witnessed the privatisation of our own energy industry knew we had to support our fellow members.

The fight against privatisation is a constant one. Jobs have been lost in the energy sector as profits are put before people. Not only do jobs disappear but services decline.

 In local government we are seeing a steady push to put local services out to tender. We need your help to stop that.

At the local council elections to be held on 9th September we will be asking the question of each and every candidate – do you support local jobs? We will be asking them to sign our Pledge (see page 7) and we will be supporting candidates who do, because we need people in local councils who care for local jobs and who are committed to ensuring fair full-time jobs in local councils.

As I read through this edition of United I am once again struck by how strong our members are when we work together.

In local government we held 367 meetings and members came out in force to support an Award that not only protects every existing condition but improves many. At a time where trade offs are rife that is a magnificent result for our members. A result we get from great work by Manager Stephen Hughes and his team of negotiators but importantly it is because of our strong members.

At Transgrid we had members who stood up and said NO to a dud deal showing unity in rejecting some quick bucks at the expense of their rights.

The journal is full of stories of unity and fighting for a fair go. We have our national Qantas negotiating team winning an Award at the ACTU NexGen17 Conference and our Organiser Sandie Morthen winning the most prestigious Innovative Organiser of the Year Award.

So when I am asked why do I do it? The answer is easy – I do it for the 30,000 USU members who stand beside me.

Graeme Kelly
USU General Secretary