Health Services Union's former general secretary Michael Williamson
Health Services Union's former general secretary Michael Williamson Ben Rushton

Nepotism among HSU allegations: report

A LEAKED report into an investigation into the Health Services Union East Branch made numerous explosive allegations, including nepotism by the union's former general secretary Michael Williamson.

The report, sighted by APN Newsdesk, reveals allegations ranging from financial misconduct to nepotism and inappropriate conduct by Mr Williamson.

Barrister Ian Temby, QC, was asked by the union's governing council to investigate whether the union was properly serving its more than 50,000 members interests.

The report alleged that Mr Williamson facilitated excessive union payments to an IT firm, United Edge, of which he has was a director, as well as payments in excess of the market rate to Communigraphix for producing a union newsletter.

While the report looks specifically at Mr Williamson's actions when general secretary, it notes that Communigraphix provided him and former Labor MP Craig Thomson - then a union official - with credit cards for personal use.

The allegations also extended to Mr Williamson using his position to obtain contracts and other financial benefits for his family, to the detriment of the union's finances.

It portrays a union allegedly lacking in independent financial oversight, proper and accountable procurement practices and inadequate internal corporate governance.

The report also shows an unusually high income taken by senior union officials, including Mr Williamson.

Among the high pay packets for union staff in 2011 were: $394,675 to Mr Williamson, $286,976 to executive president Kathy Jackson and $201, 463 to deputy general secretary Mark Bolano, while the union's administration manager was paid $131,835.Neither the union nor Mr Williamson was commenting at this stage.


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