Together and the ALP National Conference

Posted December 1, 2011 by Alex Scott

You may have recently been sent an email by DERM delegate Tony Collins with a number of questions for our Union's AGM that took place last Tuesday.

Mr Collins refrained from asking the questions he indicated he would ask at the AGM. Nevertheless, I am taking the unusual step to distribute my reply to all DERM members as Mr Collins had drafted the questions to be deliberately misleading.

Mr Collins asked if I will be representing Together Queensland at the ALP national conference.  Mr Collins knows that I am not a member of the ALP and it is inconceivable that any political party would have delegates to their national conference who are not members of their political party.  Mr Collins also knows that Together Queensland is not affiliated to the ALP or any other political party and so therefore will not be represented at the ALP national conference.  By asking these questions Mr Collins is attempting to mislead members to imply both that I am a member of the ALP and that our union is affiliated to the ALP.  Both claims are untrue and Mr Collins knows they are untrue.

In relation to his other 'questions':

(1) Together Queensland is not affiliated to the ALP and so therefore is not entitled to any delegates;

(2) Together Queensland does not have a process for appointing delegates to the conference as we have no delegates;

(3) Together Queensland has no delegates at the conference; therefore the question of if they will vote as a bloc will never eventuate;

(4) Together Queensland has no delegates at the conference; so the question of how they vote on particular policies will never eventuate.

I cannot answer  the question of how much the 7000 member ALP subscription for 2011 cost as Together is not affiliated to the ALP.  Together Queensland has not donated any money to any political party since it came into existence in 2011.  Prior to the amalgamation, the QPSU had never contributed any money to any political party since I became General Secretary in 2002

On the question of the impact of motions from the national conference of the ALP on the wages and conditions of union members, the conference will determine the platform for the ALP which may, or may not, influence the decisions made by ALP politicians in the Commonwealth and Queensland parliaments.

I understand the concerns of members in DERM about Mr Collins' communications regarding this and other union-related issues.  As with this issue, Mr Collins has consistently attempted to present the internal operations and decisions of the union in a negative light.  As he is  a  perennial candidate for elected office, I can understand that Mr Collins has a vested interest in creating discontent within the union membership in an attempt to secure votes from members in union elections but his actions are continuing to mislead members and do damage our ability as workers to stand together and work for a better life and a better public sector.

2012 will be a significant year for our union with a state election and another Core EB to be negotiated. Only by working together can we achieve the best outcome we can for members.

Alex Scott


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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