Opposition grows to CPSU centralisation
By Stuart Martin
CANBERRA — Opposition is growing inside the Community and Public Sector Union to attempts by the union's leaders to centralise control over membership services, publications and finances by establishing a Sydney-based union call centre.
CPSU national secretary Wendy Caird has attempted to hose down the furore, telling the sub-delegates' committee at the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business that members are not interested in the union's administrative changes.
The union's ACT branch executive, however, voted on February 16 to hold a special branch conference on the changes and directed the secretary to vote against the changes at the union's national executive in March.
The branch conference is scheduled for March 9. Caird is expected to address the meeting.
The ACT rank and file caucus, Members First, is circulating a leaflet and petition calling for members to be given a direct say in the direction of their union.
The national management committee has attempted to claim that the centralisation will improve democracy and accountability in the union. But when union leaders deliberately seeks to cut the membership out of the decision making process, it is hard to see how democracy or accountability can be achieved.
The union's leaders have already advertised the telephone number for the call centre in the union's communications section.
[For information about ACT Members First, phone Stuart Martin on 6248 2093 or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>.]