NTEU NSW Climate Active Conference ProgramDocument Transcript
Climate Active NEW SOUTH WALES Teachers Federation
About the Conference About the SpeakersThe Climate Active Conference is a joint initiative of the Susan Price, NTEU panellistNTEU (NSW), LHMU and NSW Teachers’ Federation. Our aim Susan works as an administrator in the School of English,is to build climate activism around climate change amongst Media & Performing Arts at the University of NSW. Sheunion members in the Education and Service Industries. has been a member of the NTEU since 1996, and has beenWe believe that climate change is core business for unions. active in the women’s, peace, environment and socialThe education and service sector unions must organise for a justice movements for over 20 years. Susan is a member ofjust transition to a sustainable future economy. We need to the NTEU NSW State Executive, and is the President of thelook at the power of these industries and work locally to shift University of NSW Branch. Susan is a member of the NTEU’sthat power. Environment and Sustainability Network.WORKSHOPSSession 1: 11.30am -12.30pm We will encourage union members at the workshop to put forward ideas on how workers can cooperate on sustainabilityEducation and training for a sustainable future programs within and possibly also between institutions.Keiko Yasukawa and Tony Brown (UTS)In this workshop we will be exploring how union organisers Union members in community climate groupsand educators might work together to initiate a different kindof learning for workers - a critical literacy and numeracy that Phil Bradley (TAFE teacher and member of Parramattahelps workers to ‘read and write’ the workplace in ways that Climate Action Network)make the workplace more sustainable for them and future This workshop will highlight the benefit of networking inworkers. We will pose the question: what role can trade unions the community and working with other members of theplay in facilitating workers’ education and training, and why community to form strategies to bring our concerns aboutis it important that they do play a role? We hold a view that climate change to policy makers. The workshop will alsoliteracy and numeracy education is a political tool that achieves demonstrate the value of working with other members of thedifferent things depending on whose hands it is in. In the community for actions (personal, local, State and Federal) thathands of the employers, workers can develop literacy and can be used to address, in various ways, the effects of climatenumeracy skills that privilege the employers’ agenda. Trade change on workers and their families.unions have the capacity to subvert this power dynamic toproduce a positive and sustainable education agenda in theworkplace. Permaculture, urban food growing and community self-reliance: Adapting to and celebrating energyClimate change and low paid workers descentHelen Masterman-Smith (Charles Sturt University) Michele Margolis “It’s a small world after oil”This workshop focuses on the links between climate justice andsocial/labour justice. It will discuss the implications of climate The hydrocarbon twins, Climate Change and Peak Oil arechange for low paid workers. International strategies aimed at shaping our future. We can work together to effect positiveensuring a just transition towards sustainability, including new solution-based change in our practices in our homes, localenvironmental rights at work, will also inform the workshop. communities and workplaces. We can make a difference to the addictive consumerist habits which are enmeshed in the fabric of our culture and society, that fuel climate change and thatWorking across boundaries for sustainability lead us up the garden path of the ‘growth economy’.A/Prof Helen Hasan, A/Prof Mary Kaidonis, Lisa Miller(University of Wollongong) The Zero Carbon Australia plan: How we can getSustainability issues cut across every work-unit within our 100% renewables in 10 yearseducational institutions and solving sustainability problemsrequires the combination of knowledge and skills from many Dr Adam Lucas, University of Wollongong/Beyond Zerodifferent areas. We can truly make a difference not only if we Emissionsset an example by having decent, sustainable workplaces Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) will present a report that showsourselves but also if we promote sustainability through what what a serious climate policy could look like if the governmentwe teach and what we research. However, to do this we must had the political will to implement it. The report is a visionarycreate mechanisms that allow workers to cooperate across the one, which shows that with proven technologies we couldtraditional workplace silos. In this workshop we will talk about have 100% renewable energy in ten years. It debunks the mythmany of the difficulties we have encountered in this regard that solar cannot provide base load power, and proves withoutand anticipate that others will have similar stories. We will doubt that the obstacles to getting action on climate changealso talk about the efforts we are making to create networks of are political, not technological. This session will look at thediverse workers who can bring together different perspectives, BZE report and discuss the important role that unions have inknowledge and skills to the challenges of sustainability. making this vision a reality.
Phil Bradley, NSWTF panellist Clean Start Leader, LHMU panellistPhil has been a civil engineer, TAFE teacher, union organiser, Cleaners are being called on to do more work and learn newAssistant General Secretary of the NSW Teachers Federation skills for the climate. Many changes are happening – moreand political activist for nearly 40 years. He participated in recycling, energy efficiency, and green chemicals. Over thethe Jabiluka uranium mine blockade and numerous other last three years, cleaners have joined together in the Cleanenvironmental campaigns. After being a member of climate Start campaign to win respect at work. Cleaners have alsoaction groups for three years, he believes we must take been getting active about climate change at home and inurgent action against dangerous climate change. Phil stood the community.as a Greens candidate in the 2010 Federal election.Session 2: 3.30pm-4.30pm Cleaners taking climate actionDirect action on climate change, towards a Clean Start Leaderprogressive agenda 23% of Australia’s greenhouse pollution comes from energyJames Goodman (UTS) and Stuart Rosewarne (University used in buildings. This is why many buildings are going green. Cleaners are vital workers for making buildings green.of Sydney) Cleaners are being called on to do more work and learn newClimate Action Research Group, Sydney skills for the climate. Many changes are happening – moreThe ALP and Greens favour market-based models for recycling, energy efficiency, and green chemicals. Over theemissions reduction. The Coalition offers a ‘Direct Action’ last three years, cleaners have joined together in the Cleannon-market approach, centred on subsidies for polluters. Start campaign to win respect at work. Cleaners have alsoWhat could a progressive non-market approach look like? The been getting active about climate change at home and in theworkshop debates the possibilities for the decommissioning community. At work, cleaners want proper time to do theirof fossil-fuel extraction in Australia, and direct provision of bit for the climate. Cleaners want chemicals that are healthy,alternative renewable energy supplies, through government environmentally friendly, and work properly. This workshop isregulation and service provision. Could the climate and union for cleaners and their supporters to discuss the changes thatmovements, and the wider left, campaign on such a platform? are happening, and how the fight for the climate can fit in to the Clean Start campaign.Organising around climate changeMarj O’Callaghan (ACTU Organising, Education and Educating teachers and students aboutCampaign Centre) sustainabilityWe’ve tried flyers and posters and lectures and facts and Peter Carrollstatistics and people still aren’t getting involved. In this The experience of SCRAP Ltd in educating for sustainabilityworkshop we’ll use a simple conversation plan for motivating since 1991 helped to create a sustainable schools programunion members and others in workplaces to get active around centring on the EcoSnapshot Day in which schools (and otherclimate change issues. At the end of this workshop participants organisations) are guided through 5 audits in Solid Waste,should be able to: Explain how climate change is linked to Materials Use and Management (MUM). Water and Stormwater,union organising and building power in their workplace/ Energy and Biodiversity/Grounds. The process engagesindustry; Have conversations with members and non- problem solving across several key learning areas while themembers in their workplaces about climate change; Motivate outcomes engender Environmental Team building, provideothers in their workplaces to take action on climate change a baseline of data for Environmental Management Planning and in some cases actual improvements in environmental sustainability. Delivered by a dedicated non-profit companyGreen universities or greenwash? for two decades, SCRAP’s programs have resulted in significantJohn Rafferty (CSU) changes in school practices from the initial paper recyclingThis workshop provides an opportunity to hear and discuss the program to the installation of alternative energy technologyresults of an NTEU funded study of university efforts to green with education for sustainability as the key ongoing focus.their operations, particularly within NSW. The comparativestudy has identified areas of best practice and areas forimprovement within the sector. It pays particular attention tothe opportunities and capacities of workers to be engaged inthese efforts.
CONFERENCE AGENDA 9.30am—Conference registration 10.00 - 11.15am—Panel: Union action for a sustainable future Speakers: Susan Price (NTEU), Phil Bradley (NSWTF), Clean Start Leader (LHMU) Chaired by: Helen Masterman-Smith In this session, representatives from LHMU, NTEU and the Teachers’ Federation will set out the agenda behind this conference. Why should unions take action around environmental issues? Is climate change really core union business? And what sort of actions can unions and union members take to make their workplaces and their communities more sustainable? 11.15 - 11.30am—Morning tea 11.30 - 12.30pm—Workshops Union members and community leaders will lead a series of workshops relating to union actions, education and training, and policy debates around sustainability. For more info see the detailed workshop schedule. 12.30 - 1.30pm—Lunch 1.30 - 3.00—Plenary: Towards decent work in a sustainable, low-carbon world: The International Story Keynote speaker: Tim Noonan (ITUC) with Dr. Mark Diesendorf on the Australian context Chaired by Genevieve Kelly 3.00 - 3.30pm—Afternoon tea 3.30 - 4.30pm—Workshops Union members and community leaders will lead a series of workshops relating to union actions, education and training, and policy debates around sustainability. For more info see the detailed workshop schedule. 4.30 - 5.00—Conference wrap-up Tim Noonan and Genevieve Kelly (NTEU NSW State secretary) will wrap-up the days events. 5.30—Conference drinksAbout the SpeakersTim Noonan, Director of Campaigns and The ITUC represents 176 million workers in 156 countriesCommunications at the International Trade Union and territories and has 312 national affiliates.Confederation (ITUC) For more information visit: www.ituc-csi.orgTim joined the ITUC in 1987. Prior to that, he worked asa Research Officer at the Trades and Labor Council of WA Dr. Mark Diesendorf, Deputy Director of the Institute offor three years. His work in the international trade union Environmental Studies at UNSWmovement has covered a wide range of subject areas,including serving as ITUC reference person for the UNEP/ Dr. Mark Diesendorf is currently Deputy Director of theILO/ITUC/ILO Green Jobs report published in 2008. He is Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW. Previously, hecurrently a member of the Belgian office and technical was a principal research scientist in CSIRO and Professoremployees union SETCa, and was previously a member of of Environmental Science at UTS. His latest books arethe WA University Salaried Officers’ Union (now NTEU), the “Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy” andWA Hospital Employees’ Union (now LHMU) and the WA “Climate Action: A campaign manual for greenhouseFederated Clerks Union (now ASU) solutions”, both published by UNSW Press.