• Private certifier gets nailed – depaNews November 2010
  • Wake up and don't worry - depaNews February 2011
  • HR professionals – depaNews January 2009
  • Upper Hunter gets coy – depaNews March 2011
  • BPB kills off B1 & B2 - depaNews July 2009
  • Councillors behaving badly Part One - depaNews December 2009
  • Councillors behaving badly Part Two - depaNews December 2009
  • Who is Peter Hurst? - depaNews August 2010
  • It's time to go, Peter Part One - depaNews September 2006
  • It's time to go Peter Part Two - depaNews December 2006
  • BPB survey on accreditation – depaNews November 2008
  • Improbable things start to come true – depaNews June 2010
  • Sex, lies and development – depaNews February 2008
  • Pizza man feeds non-members – depaNews April 2011
  • Bankstown wins HR Award – depaNews December 2010
  • Love him or loathe him - depaNews October 2007
  • Good Bad & Ugly issue – depaNews November 2010
  • Upper Hunter lets the dogs out - depaNews February 2011
  • IRC puts brakes on belligerent seven – depaNews June 2009
  • It's Tweedledum and not Tweedledumber - depaNews March 2007
  • 28 April International Day of Mourning - depaNews April 2009
  • IRC orders Hurst 'apology' published - depaNews December 2010
  • Debate on IR policy – depaNews August 2007
  • Developer agrees to apologise – depaNews November 2010
  • OH&S Day of Mourning – depaNews April 2009

The Development and Environmental Professionals' Association (depa)

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Pizza man feeds non-members – depaNews April 2011

Pizza man

Pizza Man says "I wouldn't bother answering..."

In a real snub to union members at Hurstville Council, Pizza Man, General Manager Victor Lampe has told his HR Manager he “wouldn’t bother” responding any further to our investigation of why he shouted pizzas for the freeloaders on Union Picnic Day. In the March issue of depaNews we reported that employees at Hurstville who had chosen not to be union members, and were not entitled to Union Picnic Day under the Local Government (State) Award, were all provided with a free lunch by the General Manager.

We were interested to find out why and in the March issue said we would pursue this and publish the Council's response.

Well, it's been hard to squeeze anything out of Victor. He is far more interested in feeding people who refuse to join unions than he is of responding to us.

First, he had his HR Manager respond to our e-mail and she said "lunch was a small gesture of appreciation in the circumstances". She rejected our suggested explanations but the circumstances are intriguing.

These are people not entitled to a day off by virtue of the choice they have made about union membership. They're entitled to decide they don’t want to join a union and while they can still receive the benefits the unions have won over the years in the Award or the various precedents protecting employees, they wouldn’t ordinarily be entitled to anything else - like a free lunch for choosing not to be union member. We asked “are you saying that the free lunch was a small gesture of appreciation to people who, had they been union members, would not have been there at all?"

The HR Manager responded that "non-membership of the union was not the reason lunch is provided." She did confess, in reply to one of our questions, that the Council provided the lunch, not the GM personally. So it came from public monies.

So, we asked “if non-membership was not the reason lunch was provided, what was?” And when this was ignored we wrote to Pizza Man himself and he copied us in to a message to the HR Manager:

“I wouldn't bother answering his additional question as I think you have already provided enough information".

We remain blissfully unaware of the GM’s motivation in providing a free lunch to people who already get lots of things for nothing. Neither do the employees at Hurstville understand. The union members, of course, wondering when they get their pizza or the apology for Victor’s insensitivity and the non-members feeling much more appreciated by the GM for being at work when they had no entitlement to be anywhere else.

We wouldn’t want to be unfair to Victor, so you can check the unedited exchange here.

And we hear that the GM even entertained the non-members to maximise their pleasure for the day.

Robbo's Pearls...

Farewell Ernie, thanks for everything

Ernie Page 18 February 1935 - 20 May 2018

Ernie Page was a comrade to me and depa and a friend of local government.  He was a community activist before the expression was invented, a councillor on Waverley Council for 15 years from 1962 to 1987 and Mayor for nine of those years, a member of the New South Wales Parliament representing the seat of Waverley from 1981 until 1991 when it was abolished, and then three more terms as member for Coogee.

Ernie was a lifelong member of the ALP, was active in his union the USU and was awarded life membership in recognition, was the Shadow Minister for Local Government for what seemed like forever and the Minister for Local Government from 1995 to 1999.  It was during this time he entrenched his position as a friend of depa, organised drinks in Parliament House for a freshly elected Committee of Management, regularly attended depa events, was always available for advice, assistance and to be lobbied, and was responsible as Minister for Local Government for establishing a consultative mechanism between Government and the local government unions and in the Five Year Review of the Local Government Act in 1998 recommended the removal of term contracts for senior staff - sadly, like some of Ernie’s best ideas, killed off by the conservatives in the Parliamentary Party and the Cabinet Office.

Ernie believed in and loved local government.  He knew how it worked, where it was deficient, where it should improve and what should be done to improve it.  And while appointed by Bob Carr as Minister in 1995, he was also removed by Carr in 1999 in one of his worst decisions. Ernie was furious and disappointed, privileging me to a call containing more C words than I thought humanly possible, and unchallenged by anything I’ve seen or heard before or after.
 
Thanks, Ernie.  At a time when we have little respect for our politicians, either State or in local government, that we don’t have more people devoting their working lives as assiduously, selflessly and honourably, as you did.

Mark Gollins
Well said Robbo. As a former both long term local resident and employee of Waverley Council I am saddened to learn of Ernie's passing. They don't make politicans like Ernie anymore. Always available to give advice or offer assistance, he was a man who worked tirelessly, openly and fairly not just for the local residents, but for the people of NSW.
My condolences to Ernie's family and friends


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