A brief update on where things are at with the UniSuperDivest campaign.
UniSuper have stated, contrary to repeated suggestions by the NTEU, that “there is no exclusion in place” with regard to investments in companies involved in offshore processing. This means that UniSuper have not divested. For more info, see UniSuperDivest campaign and DivestFromDetention.com . More info below.
— Not Rose (@calendulate) October 2, 2015
Here at xborder we have consistently stated that unless UniSuper themselves make an explicit statement regarding a policy to exclude investing in a company or industry, then it is meaningless and should not be considered as a valid statement.
The NTEU have a policy to pursue divestment from the detention industry. UniSuper have the means — ESG criteria to exclude investments in an industry. Moreover, all investments in Transfield have declined in value — around half since they began managing detention camps. The only reason to invest members’ money in detention is an ideological commitment to the detention industry. Divest now!
- The campaign for UniSuper to divest from the detention industry began in March 2014, supported by xborder (some of who are members of UniSuper and the NTEU, which has representation on the UniSuper Board).
- UniSuper responded to members’ queries by suggesting that they had decided to “engage” with Transfield Services.
- On March 28, 2014, UniSuper decided to “to exclude the alcohol, gaming, weapons and fossil fuel sectors from our SR options,” but refused to exclude investments in these or the detention industry. This was our response to the misleading statement regarding “options.”
- In April 2014, the Victoria University Branch of the NTEU passed a motion calling on the NTEU to support UniSuper divestment from the detention industry. They were joined by NTEU Branch motions passed at Deakin University, Melbourne University, the University of Sydney, the University of Western and others.
- In August 2014, the NSW Branch of the NTEU held a meeting to discuss supporting the divestment campaign.
- We produced a UniSuper divestment brochure in September 2014, to coincide with the upcoming NTEU National Conference.
- The NTEU National Conference passed a resolution in support of divestment from the detention industry, along the lines of the Deakin University motion.
- We were informed over the summer that the NTEU had decided to “move away” from the divestment campaign and instead organise “something that involved its members.”
- In February 2015, NTEU organisers who had been (falsely) introduced as “key activists in the divestment campaign” were prominently organising the #hungerforjustice event — they organised this event using the name xborder, and wrote an article whose main purpose seemed to be the promotion of ALP and Greens politicians. Many of these people are at present involved in GetUp’s ‘No Business In Abuse.’
- The NTEU’s General Secretary — who also sits on the UniSuper Board — wrote an article celebrating UniSuper’s moves to “ethical investment.” It sought to imply that UniSuper had divested with Transfield Services.
- In August 2015, Bernard Mees, a member of the NTEU and the Consultative Committee of UniSuper, published an article in The Conversation. It too was misleading as to UniSuper’s links to the detention industry.
- The UniSuperDivest campaign have produced another, updated divestment brochure, see UniSuperDivest for accurate and independent information on UniSuper investments in the detention industry.