HSU

Former top dog at the Health Services Union (HSU) Michael Williamson used to joke that “nothing’s too good for the workers – and their representatives”, as he brazenly defrauded the union to the tune of $5 million.

Just one lavish, boozy lunch with his cronies would burn through the annual dues ($600) of one of his low-paid union members – hospital cleaners, orderlies, clerks, porters, etc – writes journalist, Brad Norington, in Planet Jackson.

Health services are under serious attack in WA, with the Health Department asking hospitals to finalise “budget management strategies” by the end of January.

Amid claims of massive cuts to funding, hospitals in Perth are bracing for staff cuts. The Health Services Union (HSU) expects about 500 jobs to be shed at Royal Perth Hospital and similar numbers at Fiona Stanley Hospital. The union says its previous predictions of about 1000 job cuts “across the board” now appeared “conservative” and job uncertainty is causing widespread stress.

Whatever else he might be, John Dyson Heydon is no fool. When he accepted the job of royal commissioner inquiring into trade union governance and corruption, he knew what was expected of him.

The commission was set up as a political witch-hunt into unions, designed to give the federal Coalition government an issue with which it thought it could win the next election. Heydon was happy to oblige and has been handsomely paid for doing so.

The financial scandal in the Health Services Union (HSU) involving its national president Michael Williamson and former national secretary Craig Thompson ended in the courts when both of them were convicted for fraud and theft offences.

It became the trigger for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to announce on February 10 last year that he was setting up a Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption headed by former High Court judge Dyson Heydon.

The ex-Labor Party federal president and former national president of the Health Services Union (HSU), Michael Williamson, is now in jail after pleading guilty in October last year to defrauding union members of $5 million.

When he was granted bail after his conviction he immediately filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy documents declared he had almost no assets to his name. This is despite his annual salary at the union ranging from $290,000 to more than $500,000.

The formation of the Labor Party — created as part of a global movement to form mass workers’ parties in the 1890’s — differed markedly from the formation of social democratic parties in mainland Europe. The tendency in these countries was for the formation of workers’ political parties to precede the formation of a mass union movement which the parties then encouraged.

The rank and file “Clean Sweep” ticket won all contested positions of the Victorian Health Services Union (HSU) No 3 branch in elections held on November 26.

The HSU's No 3 branch covers 36 professions; from physiotherapists, radiographers, anesthetic technicians to occupational therapists, social workers, and medical illustrators. The No 3 branch is the smallest of the three HSU branches with a membership of about 3500.

Fair Work Australia’s findings into the Health Services Union (HSU) have revealed serious breaches of the union’s rules, as well as federal regulations governing registered organisations.

Geelong Trades Hall secretary Tim Gooden released the statement below on April 27 about the move by the federal government to put the Health Services Union (HSU) East into administration.

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I am very concerned by the announcement of minister Bill Shorten that the federal government will seek to have the HSU East put under the control of an appointed administrator.

A Labor MP, escort services, huge salary packages, allegations of nepotism and police probes have all been connected to the ongoing Health Services Union (HSU) scandal.

The scandal involves allegations against top HSU officials, who are claimed to have misused union funds paid by union members such as ambulance drivers, nurses and health support workers.

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