Southern Cross University trade unionists win landmark Environmental Sustainability Agreement

The Australian Student Environment Network congratulates general staff at Southern Cross University (Lismore, NSW) and the Public Service Association / Community and Public Sector Union for winning a climate Environmental Sustainability agreement this week.

The PSA/CPSU represents non-academic/teaching staff on campuses (and in schools and TAFEs), such as building maintenance staff.  The union also organised their members to make a Sustainability Pledge and a climate change forum on campus for rank-and-file members.

This is new ground for the PSA / CPSU (and for all trade unions) to be looking at climate change, and organising with their members for climate justice.  Certainly, there is a long way to go in looking at climate change as a class issue – with and well beyond trade unions – and organising with workers and communities for land, labour and climate justice.

Media Release 24 July 2009

Southern Cross University Reaches Landmark Environmental Sustainability Agreement

Southern Cross University Staff today applauded the reaching of a landmark Environmental Sustainability agreement. The in principle agreement, reached between Southern Cross University and the Community and Public Sector Union on behalf of University General Staff, will be incorporated into the new Enterprise Agreement that is currently under negotiation.

The Agreement, the most comprehensive and enforceable provision so far negotiated in Australia, provides for:

  • A broad Environmental Sustainability Working Party to drive policy development, environmental auditing and target setting on carbon emissions, water and energy
  • Reducing carbon emissions through flexible travel and car-pooling
  • Comprehensive training and education for staff on energy efficiency, transport, waste and water use
  • Protection for staff to raise environmentally damaging practices

Community and Public Sector Union Southern Cross University President Ms Toni Ledgerwood said “Environmental sustainability was a key claim raised by Union members in the lead up to negotiating a new Enterprise Agreement at SCU. The CPSU welcomes the positive University response to the eagerness of staff to tackle the urgent danger of global warming.”

Ms Ledgerwood added “The CPSU held a “Low Carbon Workplace” forum in July and has circulated an Environmental Sustainability Pledge for staff to sign and show their support for decisive action on climate change. The in principle Environmental Sustainability agreement between the Union and SCU is the start of the whole University community working together. We are proud to be working at a University providing national leadership on the issue that will dominate  our future as well as our children’s.”
ABC coverage here:

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