Jacksonville 23: Things can only get better

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Self-proclaimed "whistleblower" Kathy Jackson has been dumped from the HSU and charges are to be laid against her for breach of Union regulations. Peter Wicks reports.


Acting national president of the HSU Chris Brown (left) tonight announced tonight that he "...will be charging Kathy Jackson under the registered rules of the Union with gross misconduct, gross neglect of duty and substantial breach of the rules and be seeking her removal from office”.

SOME OF US have seen it coming for a while, others have buried their head in the sand, but tonight things are starting to fall into place.

The self-proclaimed whistleblower and Joan of Arc has been dumped from the HSU — and charges are to be laid against her by the Union for breach of union regulations.

Kathy Jackson, the woman described by Tony Abbott as a woman worthy of admiration and a woman of great courage, has now felt the wrath of the members who have felt so badly done by with her at the helm of this once great union.

It also needs to be remembered that Kathy’s fiancé, Michael Lawler, Vice President of FWA, still has questions to answer over the FWA investigation into the HSU, and questions over his alleged influence over the investigation and interference in the HSU itself. These allegations were only strengthened by the KPMG report into the FWA investigation, especially when Lawler refused to co-operate with the KPMG investigation which his own organisation commissioned.

Below is the media release that has gone out tonight from Chris Brown:

Brown charges Jackson

Seeks her removal as National Secretary

The Acting National President of the Health Services Union Chris Brown announced today that he was taking steps to remove the National Secretary Kathy Jackson from her position.

“I will be charging Kathy Jackson under the registered rules of the Union with gross misconduct, gross neglect of duty and substantial breach of the rules and be seeking her removal from office” Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown said that “this move is necessary to ensure that the rebuilding of the Health Services Union, which was now underway, had every chance of succeeding.”

The Health Services Union has been through a torrid time over the past year with allegations of fraud and corruption dominating our attention.

“We have been working hard over the past twelve months to repair the reputation of the HSU and to put in place measures that will prevent this from occurring again in the future. We want members not only to have confidence in the Union but also to regain their pride in their Union.”

“However in order for this to be successful the HSU needs a National Secretary who is dedicated to that cause, who will respect the will of the National Executive and National Council rather than working against it. We need someone who will put the interests of all members of the HSU ahead of their own interests and ambitions.”

The 10 charges under the rules of the HSU will focus on:

  • Ms Jackson’s failure to effectively perform the functions of the National Secretary

  • Ms Jackson’s failure to comply with policies and procedures put in place to avoid and detect fraudulent behaviour

  • Ms Jackson entering into contractual arrangements exposing the Union to hundreds of thousands of dollars of liability without seeking the approval of the National Executive or even advising the National Executive

  • Multiple breaches of the Rules of the Union and the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 exposing the union to possible further legal action and fines.

  • Mr Brown also expressed concern that Ms Jackson was the subject of an investigation by the Victorian Police Fraud & Extortion Squad for alleged corruption involving funds of the Victoria No.3 Branch when she was Branch Secretary. “These allegations are serious and it is going to be impossible for Kathy Jackson as the National Secretary to be involved in the rebuilding of the Union while she is under investigation for corruption.”

    Under the rules the charges laid by Mr Brown against Ms Jackson will initially be investigated by the Union Ombudsman Mr Errol Hodder and will then be determined by the Union’s National Executive.

The link below has details of the charges:

Jackson Charges - 27 August 2012

I am sure this won’t be the end of Kathy Jackson, rather just the start. Victorian Police are still investigating some of the many unusual financial transactions that have allegedly taken place, as reported here, over the last few months.

I hope that tonight’s news will start to make the members feel a little better about their union and also make them feel confident that justice is starting to be done.

There is a long way to go still, but things are now starting to happen.

And not before time, either.

[Get up to date on our entire investigation at IA's dedicated Jacksonville page.]

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