Message from Secretary Gerard Hayes in Relation to Michael Williamson

Dear Members,

Today, Michael Williamson has entered a series of guilty pleas at the Downing Centre Local Court.

As you will see from the following links, Williamson is likely to face jail time in the near future. I’m happy to tell you we are finally coming to the end of the most difficult chapter in our Union’s history.

Sydney Morning Herald Report

ABC News Report

I also wanted to let you know that in addition to the criminal case, the Union has also recently finalised civil proceedings against Williamson.

Under the terms of the settlement our Union has:

• Obtained a $5 million Supreme Court Judgment against Williamson;

• Set aside his claimed pay rates back to 2003, resulting in the Union:

  • Reducing defined benefits superannuation liabilities to Williamson by approximately $1.1 million; and
  • Eliminated in excess of $600,000 worth of claimed leave entitlements;

• Received a written public apology from Williamson to all members and staff.

You can access the apology here

The agreement was reached through an independent mediator, former federal Attorney General, Robert McClelland with the assistance of Carroll & O’Dea, the law firm appointed midway through last year by the Administrator, former Federal Court judge Michael Moore. It was also vetted and approved by the Branch Committee of Management and the Branch Council.

Carroll & O’Dea have advised me, the committee and the council that the terms represent the best likely outcome we could expect to achieve in the circumstances.

The outcome we have secured allows us to claw back significant funds. Crucially it also significantly limits the Union’s liability for Michael Williamson’s superannuation and accrued leave.

Since late last year, this Union has grown at an impressive pace, turned around its finances and notched up important political and industrial wins.

Today’s decision finally ends the Williamson era and allows us to embrace a bright future where members are at the centre of everything we do.

I look forward to working with each and every one of you to build our Union for the future.

Yours Sincerely

Gerard Hayes
Secretary HSU NSW Branch

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