The Health Services Union scandal keeps on delivering in Australia. This Aussie union has rorted and ripped off its members, they are corrupt to the top, and still denying it.
I shudder to think what sort of malfeasance is going on in New Zealand with our lax supervision of union monies:
SUSPICIOUS procurement practices, nepotism and cronyism resulted in the union boss Michael Williamson, his family and friends reaping millions of dollars from the troubled Health Services Union during his 15-year reign.
The final report by Ian Temby, QC, and the accountant Dennis Robertson, which has been obtained by the Herald, paints a disturbing picture of the HSUeast branch. More than $20 million in questionable payments was paid to suppliers to the union without any form of tendering or contract.
More than $5 million went directly to companies operated by Mr Williamson and his wife, Julieanne, while $1.5 million of union funds was spent buying and renovating a warehouse, which was then used by his son Christopher, also an employee of the union.
The report found the union’s funds had been spent building a rehearsal studio for Chris Williamson’s commercial use. “This was stark favouritism,” it said.
United Edge, a company of which Michael Williamson was a third owner, received $4.7 million in the four years to September 2011. United Edge, which provided IT services without having to tender, operated rent free from the HSUeast headquarters.
Then there was the $384,625 Julieanne Williamson received for allegedly doing the union’s archiving from 2005 to 2009.
Mr Temby is particularly critical of this transaction. “Assuming that the work was actually done, and done by Mrs Williamson alone, and she worked a 37.5-hour week through out the 50-month period – collecting folders, dismantling and collating them for scanning, week after tedious week for 52 weeks of the year – then she was being paid at a rate close to $34 per hour plus GST . . . a high hourly rate for what appears to be basic clerical work.” Mr and Mrs Williamson declined to be interviewed by Mr Temby, but she wrote to Mr Temby saying: “I felt I should have been charging $200ph, as the work was downright disgustingly filthy”.