The Pickering Post
Friday, 14th December 2018

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Don Smith

Don is no-nonsense bloke with a background in the arts and business. He pens unique Aussie banter and has an interest in all things controversial


Kathy's wonderful windfall

Gee, I somehow think Mike Smith has backed the wrong horse with Kathy Jackson.

Despite anything else that may be revealed by this Royal Commission into unions, the revelation regarding the underpayment of employees at Peter MacCullum Cancer Research Institute have just left me totally stunned, but not surprised.

It appears that the MacCallum Institute had inadvertently underpaid several research employees who had gone to their union, the HSU, to have the matter rectified.

When it was proven to the Institute that they had in fact underpaid these employees, the Institute informed the union they would need to sack 38 employees to back-pay these technicians.

Having been told this, it appears Jackson had said to the MacCallum people, “well if you cover our legal costs to date we will drop the case and tell the employees the situation”.

Sounds reasonable, but it wasn’t. Jackson, had no right to do what she did and I mean no right legally. I do not know if the MacCallum employees were working under an award or a registered industrial agreement. Regardless, an award or a registered industrial agreement is law, they were legally entitled to be paid correctly and it was Jackson’s job to see that they were.

Now the only people who were legally entitled to make the decision to drop proceedings for their back pay were the employees themselves by vote. But did Jackson put it to an employee vote? No, according to Jackson, she vaguely thinks they sent them some memo or other. Wow!

Then the Institute comes up with the $250 grand to cover the union’s legal costs and what does Jackson do with it? It appears that she created this nice little slush fund with it.

It did not end up in the union’s consolidated revenue where it should have been for the benefit of the members. It ended up in the Kathy Jackson benevolent fund.

Seriously, it’s the mentality! I extracted this money from them so it’s mine, mine, mine ... the money, money, money is mine!

Holy hell! Between Williamson, Thompson and now Jackson, how much members’ money has just been ripped off? Tens of millions! But the HSU is just one union... just one!

What makes matters worse is that they do not give a stuff! Did Williamson or Thompson show any real remorse? You’re kidding. “What a great Job this is, look at all this money and there is no-one watching...whoopeeeeee!!”

Not only is the amount of union members’ money siphoned off for various personal or political benefits totally staggering, the amount of money extorted from Australian businesses every year by unions would leave you totally dumbstruck.

Sadly, when it comes to money, those highly principled, supposed guardians of the working man, those righteous protectors of workers’ rights, do not give a flying continental about the workers’ wellbeing once the probability of “making a quid” arises, especially in an election year.

I can quote you chapter and verse from the NSW Industrial Commission in 1995, where the TWU was quite prepared to stitch up a union delegate for $10 grand... and they never batted an eyelid.

In the MacCallum situation, you can bet your arse Jackson never, ever thought that maybe, she could divvy this money up among the MacCallum employees to help them out a bit, considering that they had been underpaid.

Nuh!! You can bet your left nut that it would have been the last thing that Jackson considered because she did not consider it to be the employees’ money, it was money she had negotiated, it was union money all right, but she was the union... so it was hers!

Sorry Mike, I think you are going to be in for a rude shock....I thought you were smarter than this.  


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I’M OFFENDED JULIA, WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK ME? I do really good portraits


it appears some people may have been taken in by unsubstantiated left wing union bully boy allegations.

Well I kept my powder dry and by all accounts Kathy Jackson was investigated and no charges to be laid. LAST CHANCE will close on Friday.

"Sorry Mike,....I thought you were smarter than this"..... And how smart are you, Don. Smithy spent over $3k on a new auto for a car worth $2k. And a bloke who's penniless at 50 can't be too bright. FFS, this country is so rich in opportunity that even aging Leftards with no fiscal wisdom can retire comfortably. Smithy's good bits are unparalleled but his flaws are equally so.

At this rate who will be left of seniority within the union movoment to move up the ranks to Parliament? Only person left is Paul Howes. Maybe he's pulling all the strings and keeping himself smelling nice and clean?

At this rate who will be left of seniority within the union movoment to move up the ranks to Parliament? Only person left is Paul Howes. Maybe he's pulling all the strings and keeping himself smelling nice and clean?

At this rate who will be left of seniority within the union movoment to move up the ranks to Parliament? Only person left is Paul Howes. Maybe he's pulling all the strings and keeping himself smelling nice and clean?

I think that Smithy is in a bit of a pickle and is just too blind to see it. Silly, silly man!

I was a sub contrator on a large project in perth 15yrs ago and was threatened into joining the union, back then the fees were $600pa and $300 joining fee...hate to think what it is now. Up yours cfmeu

I think because he's shown what a good friend he really is... wouldn't you want someone like that in 'your corner' should you need support?

You'd be a true friend Hermes'.


Fair comment Hermes. All he has to do is be neutral in this aspect w.r.t. KJ.

Could Smiths testicles have run off with his brain in this case

Every time I see articles about union corruption in every news media I keep asking the same questions: How much did Bill Shorten enrich himself with union members' money? How much did Brendan O'Connor and his brother enrich themselves personally with union members' money? How much did Greg Combet enrich himself on union member's money? How much did Paul Howes enrich himself, until he resigned because he knew an investigation was coming? How much did Richard Marles enrich himself with union member's money? How much Tony Burke? Anna Burke? Nick Champion? David Feeney? Laurie Ferguson? Stephen Conroy? Bernie Ripoll? Wayne Swan? Matt Thistlethwaite? And others currently in the unions, all the way to the top?

The Victorian branch of the HSU would have a meeting to attend in Mildura with health workers so one of their people would leave Melbourne and travel half way and stay in palatial accommodation and then travel on to the meeting the next day ; On conclusion of the meeting they would travel half way back to Melbourne and stay in the same or something to that standard of accommodation all expenses paid and then head back to their office in Melbourne all at the expense of their members including claiming travel entitlement on their wages whereas you or I could have made the journey to Mildura in a few hours .

Okay Mike, over to you. We know that Kathy has been a pivotal part in the whole trade union corruption investigation. Now let's see you take a side or at least stand aside, at least in Kathy's saga. Don't let Kernohan down.

I agree Robulus however Perth is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live, i dont know how they would even it out without using the tactics that you describe

Good grief! This from Michael Smith’s website says it all:

“My primary difference with Kathy is over what is and what isn't ‘members' money’. Kathy tells me that at the various union-leader courses she attended it was drummed into her that the Branch Committee of Management is given certain powers to make directions about the union's affairs. In the case of the Peter Mac money she says the direction of the BCOM to put the cash into a separate account meant that money was no longer members' money. I can see her point but I don't have to agree with it. I can also see that hers is an honestly held view in her mind.”

“Yesterday was awful. But it's done and we move on. It was also not without some important new pieces of evidence, including the production of the Peter Mac internal board and other papers that made clear that the $250K paid to the HSU was in no way related to the payment of employees' entitlements. Further the fact of the payment to the HSU was widely communicated to the staff at the Peter Mac at the time, negating the reports in some compliant media that the "deal" was secret. We also saw compelling evidence that the transfers of money from the HSU's head bank accounts to the NHDA were made at the direction of the branch's BCOM.”

Not any more.