From: Customer Helpdesk, LTA
Sent: Friday, 28 March 2014 1:31 PM
To: Schwab, Peter R. (Legal)
Subject: Workforce NSW 19085: Williamson sentenced to 5 years; HSU to open its books; Union outrage as Govt sends jobs west; more
Former NSW secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) Michael Williamson has been sentenced to at least five years jail for defrauding the union of almost $1 million. In a sentencing hearing today (March 28), the District Court described Williamson's action as "brazen and arrogant". Responding to the sentence, HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes told WFNSW the NSW branch would continue to pursue the lost money, despite Williamson's declaration of bankruptcy. A Federal Court action examining Williamson family assets is expected to get underway in five weeks (WFNSW19055). The hearing comes just days after former national secretary of the union Craig Thomson was sentenced to three months jail for wrongly using a union credit card including to pay for prostitutes. Thomson is appealing the sentence.
The HSU NSW branch will open its books to members under orders designed to address "invalidities and irregularities" in the financial administration of the union during the Williamson years (Williamson sentenced to 5 years jail, above). Approving the branch's application for rectification orders, Industrial Relations Commission President Justice Michael Walton said he was satisfied they would "not do substantial injustice to HSU NSW, or to any member or creditor of HSU NSW or to any person having dealings with HSU NSW". The application said the irregularities occurred between October 1, 2010 and September 20, 2011; and Oct 1, 2011 to Sept 30, 2012. The branch operated as HSU East during the period, following a merger with Victorian branches. Justice Walton ordered the union provide members with unaudited accounts and balance sheets for the two periods; an unsigned audit report prepared by BDO (NSW-Vic) Pty Ltd; a balance sheet and profit and loss statement from VJ Ryan and Co Pty Ltd; and audited financial statements prepared by Nexia Court and Co from July 1, 2012 to Sept 30, 2012. Justice Walton said provision of the documents would satisfy reporting requirements under s282 of the IR Act 1996. (Health Services Union NSW ,NSWIRComm10, 21/3/14)
A blow-by-blow description of the rise and fall of the HSU East branch is provided in Justice Walton's orders (HSU NSW to open its books, above). Formed in July 2010 under a controversial restructure that saw members of the HSU Victorian No1 and No 3 branches allowed to become members of HSU NSW, HSU East replaced HSU NSW. Two years later the "super branch" was in ruins.An internal inquiry by HSU East Union Council under Ian Temby QC and Dennis Robertson identified major failings in the governance and business practices of HSU East, highlighted by a lack transparency and scrutiny of financial and business information and policies and procedures for dealing with potential conflicts of interest and use of credit cards. On June 21, 2012, the Federal Court appointed an administrator to demerge the NSW union from the Vic branches.
The State Government's bid to overturn two NSW Industrial Relations Commission decisions excluding super from the 2.5% public service salary cap returns to the cmn next week, with two extra appeal matters listed for hearing by a full bench. In a notice of motion listed for April 2, the Govt will argue Justice Roger Boland erred in relying on a Second Reading speech in parliament to support his decision excluding super from the cap. The Govt will also argue the cmn didn't treat the Treasury witness as an expert witness. The Court of Appeal, meantime, is believed to be nearer a decision on a Govt application claiming Justice Boland erred in finding the Govt has the capacity to pay super on top of the cap, with sources saying a decision could come late April or early May.
The Public Service Association (PSA) has accused the NSW Government of a lack of transparency over its planned move of 3,000 public servant jobs to Sydney's west. Under changes the govt announced this week, the Ambulance Service of NSW will be moved from Roselle to North Parramatta, the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Office of State Revenue to Parramatta, Sport and Recreation from Olympic Park to Penrith, and the Community Relations Commission and divisions within the Department of Family and Community Services from Sydney and Ashfield to Liverpool. The Govt says the moves will ensure public servants are based in the communities they serve. The PSA, meantime, has demanded the govt meet with the union and staff to address concerns. Secretary Anne Gardiner told WFNSW the govt's selection process and business case for the moves remained a mystery. "Sport and Recreation from Olympic Park to Penrith – why?" she said.
Green groups have backed an Upper House call for the State Government to release all documents relating to proposed new planning laws. Nature Conservation Council of NSW's Pepe Clark said the papers would "shine a light" on alleged "undue influence" of developers and the mining lobby on the Govt's draft planning bill - and planning processes generally. The Govt has defended changes under the Bill, including expanded appeal rights for developers, as a "balanced" approach to planning in the state. The Bill is back in the Lower House after the Upper House amended the bill to remove key changes.
Rail unions are remaining tight lipped on the outcome of a delegates' meeting on March 25 to consider whether to accept a Fair Work Commission (FWC) recommendation for two workplace agreements covering NSW train workers - or push for a single deal (WFNSW19075). Unions NSW assistant secretary Mark Morey told WFNSW any response would first await meetings with members. The FWC has recommended parties adopt one agreement for Sydney Trains, Railcorp and Transport Cleaning Services (TCS) workers - and a separate one for NSW Trains workers. Rail entities have agreed to meet with stakeholders by April 4 to discuss the matter. Parties are due to report back to the cmn by April 7. The talks affect about 10,000 NSW rail employees.
The NSW Industrial Relations Commission has ordered Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) pay $79,111 in back pay to a solicitor who was unfairly dismissed. It follows a 2012 order by Commissioner Inaam Tabbaa for the reinstatement of Rosanno Ganino as a senior solicitor at RMS. In her original finding, Cmr Tabbaa ordered RMS pay Ganino's salary from July 2009 to the date of her 2012 reinstatement, "less amounts earned and monies already paid by RMS". A full bench on appeal remitted the question of what were the appropriate payment amounts unders89(3) of the Industrial Relations Act 1996. A key question was whether back pay owed to the employee should be discounted in circumstances where the employer alleged that the employee was not sufficiently diligent in seeking alternative employment. When the matter came on for hearing, RMS advised it now "largely agreed" with orders proposed and the issue at the heart of the matter (ie alternative employment) had evaporated. Justice Roger Boland ordered RMS pay Ganino her gross salary from July 2009 until July 2012 , less $14,817 earned in alternative employment, and $41,662 already paid by the employer; totalling $79,111. (PSA v Roads and Maritime Services 2014, NSWIRComm8, 14/3/14)
The Rail Tram and Bus Division Loco Division says it will continue to argue against State Government moves to take away 1,000 staff car spots at rail stations. A spokesperson told WFNSW trains could be delayed and workers safety put at risk if they had to drive around searching for parks. The Govt has said the spaces will be better used by the public.
Acting Editor: Steve Andrew. Contact: Phone (02) 8587 7681. Managing Editor: Peter Schwab. Email:email@example.com.Product Code: 3140419085.