Saturday, 28 April 2012

Health Services Union Debacle - a family affair?

It’s not hard to think of the Health Services Union debacle as a family affair. The problem is deciding if the family is the Union itself, the Labor Party or another ménage entirely .

Kathy Jackson National Secretary of the Health Services Union and ALP member

Fegan v Kathy Jackson 2 April 2009

Australian Labor Party – Pre-selection for by-election in State seat – Whether procedure in Victorian Branch rules is binding – Application of National rules – Justiciability

The Australian  2 February 2012
TWO senior Health Services Union officials have made formal complaints to Fair Work Australia president Geoffrey Giudice alleging FWA vice-president Michael Lawler, the partner of HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, intervened in internal union politics.

The Australian  3 February 2012
FAIR Work Australia vice-president Michael Lawler has made sensational allegations to NSW police that two senior officials of the Health Services Union may have engaged in serious criminal activity.

The Age 4 February 2012
HEALTH Services Union whistleblower Kathy Jackson has been accused of destroying documents and laundering money through a colleague's bank account, according to a leaked email obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ms Jackson, the national secretary of the union, has described the allegations as ''entirely false''.

The Australian  18 February 2012
JACKSON was not well disposed towards Thomson when she succeeded him. She says the two had fallen out over his political ambition which she saw as overriding the interests of HSU members. "At the end of the day I just found Craig sly and smarmy," she says. "He had this selfish ambition."

The Australian 25 April 2012
A MEMBER of the Health Services Union has brought union charges against national secretary Kathy Jackson and her "sidekick" Marco Bolano, alleging gross misbehaviour and neglect of duty.
In a 49-page schedule of charges, detailing a long list of concerns that have been raised about Ms Jackson's role over many years, Daniel Govan alleges union elections were corrupted by spending without proper authority, that $58,000 was paid into an account in the name of Ms Jackson's former husband, an $84,000 luxury Volvo XC90 was bought with a $5000 unexplained invoice discrepancy, and payments were made to a childcare centre known to be used by Ms Jackson.

Jeff Jackson one-time Branch Secretary of Victoria No. 1 Branch Health Services Union and ex-husband of Katherine Jackson

The Australian 11 April 2009
The statement of a Bendigo Gold Visa card allegedly issued to Jackson shows expenditure on services that fall far outside his normal duties. It includes a string of prostitutes, designer clothes, dental work, gourmet food and drinks at a favourite Melbourne hotel. Jackson challenges the authenticity of this credit card account and dismisses allegations he has misused any funds as part of a "dirty tricks campaign" mounted by opponents withinhis union….
The allegations against Jackson, a senior figure in the ALP's Victorian Right faction, have only come to light because of leaks after a nasty power struggle within the HSU's No. 1 division.
No one emerges as a cleanskin in this battle: certainly not Jackson's main opponent, the HSU branch's president Pauline Fegan.
But the sloppy and sometimes sordid details of union spending at the HSU have emerged in the same week that one of its former officials, federal Labor MP Craig Thomson, has been forced to fend off allegations that he, too, used his union credit card on prostitutes before entering parliament at the 2008 federal election.

Fair Work Australia Investigation into the Victoria No. 1 Branch of the Health Services Union under section 331 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 mentioning Pauline Fegan, Jeff Jackson and Kathy Jackson

The Victorian No. 1 Branch (“the Branch”) of the Health Services Union (“the Union”) has ceased to function effectively and there are no effective means under the rules of the Union by which it can be enabled to function effectively.

Health Services Union of Australia and Health Services Union of Australia Victoria No 1 Branch In the Matter of an Inquiry Relating to an Election for an Office 25 February 2000

Craig Thomson Federal ALP Member for Dobell and former HSU member and office bearer 20 April 2012
HEALTH Services Union (HSU) acting president Chris Brown says reports that the union paid former official Craig Thomson a sum to settle a defamation action are wrong.
Fairfax Media reported today that Mr Thomson, now a federal Labor MP, received a secret payment of $160,000 from the HSU three years after he'd entered parliament....
"Legal action against the union by Mr Thomson to have his accrued leave entitlements paid resulted in the union paying Mr Thomson a sum to cover those legal entitlements.
"The sum quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald and other media is wrong and over-inflated."

The latest twist

A KEY executive of the scandal-plagued Health Services Union has called for it to be placed into administration.
Gerard Hayes, the acting deputy general secretary of the NSW branch, said the union was ''hemorrhaging members'' because of the ''factional warfare'' between whistleblower Kathy Jackson and the union's head Michael Williamson, who is refusing to step down from the union he has run for 17 years.

The Australian 26 April 2012
THE GILLARD government has moved to intervene in the internal workings of a trade union for the first time in decades, applying to appoint an administrator to the Health Services Union's scandal-ridden East branch.

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