Health Services Union brings in internal investigator
- From: AAP
- April 27, 2012
THE embattled Health Services Union has appointed an ombudsman to deal with internal charges against two of its senior officials.
The union’s suspended boss Michael Williamson and its national secretary Kathy Jackson are facing internal charges and disputes over the rules of the union, which represents health workers.
The move came as the union’s senior officials met in Sydney to discuss ongoing brawling and power struggles within its ranks.
The meeting will also consider Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten’s move yesterday to apply to the Federal Court to have the union’s scandal-ridden East branch placed in administration because it had “ceased to function effectively”.
The HSU national council announced today it had appointed former industrial relations commissioner Errol Hodder to the position of union ombudsman.
Acting national president Chris Brown said the union had previously had an ombudsman, but the position had been vacant for a while.
“We’ve moved to fill it given there are pending charges against both Michael Williamson and Kathy Jackson,” he said.
As ombudsman, Mr Hodder will investigate complaints and charges brought against members and officers of the union.
He will provide a report to the national executive and can recommend that action be taken against any person he has investigated.
Mr Brown said the national council believed Mr Hodder had knowledge and experience in dealing with disputes and understood how unions operated.
The national council voted 46-7 for Mr Hodder’s appointment.