The builder who missed out on a school construction contract had a "hostile approach" to the union, the ACT Integrity Commission has heard.
The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union National and ACT branch secretary Zachary Smith gave evidence in an inquiry into the procurement process for the Campbell Primary School modernisation project.
Mr Smith said under a memorandum of understanding, Unions ACT would be notified of all tenderers for ACT government contracts and would give feedback to the agency responsible.
"Our expectation is that the sort of matters we raised would be considered in the tender process," Mr Smith said.
He was assistant secretary when the CFMEU was notified that Lendlease and Manteena had responded to the request for tender for the Campbell Primary School project.
Mr Smith said he had dealt with Manteena through site visits to do with safety and industrial issues.
"They had a fairly hostile approach to the union, union activity on their sites," he said.
Mr Smith said at that time the union dealt with Lendlease on a regular basis and knew they paid workers in accordance with the union negotiated enterprise agreement.
He said the union advocated for the memorandum of understanding arrangements to be formalised through the Secure Local Jobs Code.
Mr Smith has been a member of the Secure Local Jobs advisory council since it was established.
In March 2020, the CFMEU was notified by the ACT government that Manteena had responded to an Education Directorate tender for the new Throsby School.
Meanwhile, the union had written to Manteena to commence bargaining for an enterprise agreement with union representatives, stating that this was required under section 15 of the Secure Local Jobs Code.
Manteena chief executive Mark Bauer responded to the union on March 24, 2020 stating it did not require union assistance nor a draft agreement.
The commission also heard that the union criticised another witness, known by the pseudonym John Green, when he was in the role of Secure Local Jobs Registrar.
Mr Smith said Mr Green was dismissive of the complaints when there was "clear evidence" contractors were breaking the code.
"[Mr Green was] to be blunt about it, out of his depth," he said.
Mr Green resigned from the role as registrar and went to the Education Directorate where he became involved in the procurement process for the Campbell Primary School project.
Former CFMEU ACT secretary Jason O'Mara said enforcement of the Secure Local Jobs Code was "terrible" when Mr Green was the registrar.
"Mr Green ... took an extremely weak and lacklustre approach to it," Mr O'Mara said.
Mr O'Mara met with Mr Green in the CFMEU Dickson office on February 19, 2020 where he expressed his view that the government did not take Secure Local Jobs Code seriously enough.
He said the union took the view that the ACT government should not always go for the cheapest price for contracts as it could lead to poor standards of workmanship and safety.
"More often than not it did not equate to the best outcome for the territory," Mr O'Mara told the commission.
Mr O'Mara said Lendlease treated their workers right while Manteena did not provide industry standard pay and conditions to their workers.
"In a two-horse race they're a mile in front," he said.
He said agreed that he had the view that Manteena should not get government contracts and he "probably" expressed this opinion to Mr Green.
Mr O'Mara said he had an exchange with Mr Bauer at a safety consultation meeting on the building site of the Garran surge centre on April 8, 2020.
"I did throw a few cheap shots at him on the way out the door"
The ACT Integrity Commission is investigating whether Education Directorate officials failed to exercise their official functions honestly and/or impartially when making recommendations and decisions regarding the Campbell Primary School modernisation project between 2019 and 2020.
ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry is expected to give evidence when the public examinations continue on Friday.
Former Major Projects Canberra head Duncan Edghill and Rebecca Cross, who was in an acting role in the Education Directorate at the time, will also appear.
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