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Goulburn delegate challenges local MP over IR laws

Jun 17, 2011Update

A delegation of public sector workers met Goulburn state MP and Family and Community Services minister Pru Goward last Friday in an attempt to get the MP to cross the floor and vote against the IR changes.

The delegates included representatives from Fire and Rescue NSW, the Police Association, the Public Service Association, the Teachers Federation, Prison Officers and the RTBU.

RTBU member Mick Murray explained that while the delegation was pleased that Ms Goward gave them an hour and a half of her time to present their case, ultimately she said there was no more money in the state kitty and that the government was the best judge of how limited funds should be spent.

“We explained that there were areas where we could have negotiated with the Government – such as less money cash in hand in return for more super – but the disinterest in consultation and negotiation meant any goodwill the new government may have had has evaporated.”

In Mick’s case, he says, as a train driver he already does several jobs that once were done by others – station master, loco assistant, shunter, signalman – so there really is not much more that can be cut.

“She suggested I could take shorter lunch breaks or less sick leave,” he says. “And I said I don’t get a lunch break!”

Overall Mick felt the meeting was worthwhile from an activism point of view, saying that union members need to be more active – writing letters, making phone calls and meeting with local members regularly. If more people spent a couple of hours a month lobbying government it would be more responsive, he says.

Photo: Goulburn Post