Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 2017) . . Page.. 3360 ..
outcome when it comes to heating and cooling their households, to running their small businesses and to the running of this city.
Trade unions—government contracting
MR PARTON: My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, earlier today, in a ministerial statement, you said you had asked Housing ACT to talk with, among others, the trade unions in working towards a new contract. What roles do trade unions perform in relation to the Spotless contract for public housing maintenance and facilities management services?
MS BERRY: In response to the question by Mr Parton, trade unions represent workers who are employed by employers who work on the maintenance contract. So, yes, they will be part of the stakeholder group that will be consulted during the process that will be involved in a new contract for maintenance in public housing.
MR PARTON: What consultative processes, though, are unions involved in within the framework of the total facilities management contract? Do they have power of veto as per the MOU?
Ms Berry: Madam Speaker, sorry—
MR PARTON: It is your contract.
Ms Berry: I just did not hear it because right at the time he was asking the question—
MADAM SPEAKER: I thought that may be the case. I am sure, Mrs Jones, it was unintentional, but, Mr Parton, can you ask again.
MR PARTON: What consultative processes are unions involved in within the framework of the total facilities management contract? Does the union have the power of veto as per the infamous MOU?
MS BERRY: As I referred to in the statement I made today, unions, along with other stakeholders, including tenants, will be involved in conversations leading up to a new maintenance contract for ACT public housing.
MR WALL: Minister, do unions offer or provide advice either to you or to Spotless on how services for public housing might be undertaken or improved going beyond workers’ rights?
MS BERRY: I can confirm that unions in the ACT, including Unions ACT, have publicly supported tenants in public housing in the ACT. So if it is about providing advice, then certainly I would take their comments in support of public housing tenants as very important in the process of making sure that tenants in the ACT get the best possible support from their community but also in the maintenance of their homes.