HSU boss, ALP political hack and property millionaire Kathy Jackson’s latest extraordinary public performance involves a concession that her $270,000 per annum ($5000 per week) salary is “obscene” but then brazenly blames someone else, her NSW nemesis Mike Williamson, for her largesse.
It’s all a bit rich for someone who rather patronisingly describes herself as a champion of the working poor, many union insiders believe. They have also been chuckling to themselves about Jackson, a regular ALP safe-seat preselection contender, Admin Committee factional hack and 20-year party member, decrying Labor party involvement in the union as Jackson has never actually worked in the health industry covered by the HSU and got her job at the union through ALP poltical connections, which have spanned from its far left in the early 90s to its ‘Taliban’ Right most recently. Folk like the SDA state secretary Michael Donovan have recently and rightly disavowed any connection with Jackson recently, in light of the corruption allegations engulfing the HSU.
Ms Jackson was also silent on the question whether she’d return these inappropriate payments and failed to explain how it might have been that she was forced to accept payments she now concedes as “obscene” against her will.
This week, we have explored the Jackson side of the HSU scandal, including her receipt of what VEXNEWS believes was an amount well in excess of $200,000 from her NSW nemesis Mike Williamson to fund her sock puppet Marco Bolano’s 2009 HSU election campaign in the Victorian branch. We have also revealed that Jackson gifted Williamson’s wife Julie $3500 worth of jewellery from luxury store Bulgari and even provided her with a valuation of the gift, in a display of vulgarity that would cause much tut-tutting in the corridors of Freehills, which usually provide clients to Ms Jackson’s new legal counsel, Stuart Wood SC, a high-priced boss’s lawyer who has agreed to act for “Wacko Jacko” on a pro bono basis. It really is hysterical, and that’s not a reference to Ms Jackson’s medical condition.
That Jackson feels free to acknowledge her salary is “obscene” and to blame someone else for it is a credit to the power of chutzpah and perhaps medically-enhanced self-delusion. One of Australia’s sleaziest businessman once told us “You cannot get what you do not ask for.” Jackson is the living embodiment of this shameless philosophy.
Union insiders say this makes Jackson and her NSW opposite number the highest paid union officials in Australian history. One of the nation’s most prominent union leaders, Paul Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, for example, tweeted this week that his salary was $140,000. That’s considered about average. Oddly, not many union secretaries disclose their salaries but they are not generally anywhere near the soaring heights of greed and self-indulgence achieved by Jackson.
Of course, VEXNEWS has already revealed that Jackson negotiated this “obscene” salary with Williamson as part of the NSW-Vic amalgamation talks that formed the HSU East branch. She fought hard for every penny, we are reliably informed. Sources within the union say her implication that other officials are on comparable salaries in an effort to justify Williamson’s is simply false. It’s Wacko Jacko and Iron Mike on the big bucks alone, we are told. In addition, Jackson drives a luxury Volvo SUV, that it is owned by the union and paid for by members’ money that cost $140k plus. Sources say Jackson’s choice of luxury union vehicles long preceded the merger with the NSW branch and was prompted by her desire to compete with other elite private school Botoxed mums. The obscenity is staring right back at Katherine Jackson in her gilded mirror.
One unionist pointed out the obvious yesterday when we asked them about Jackson’s big bucks high-life hypocrisy lifestyle:
“If Jackson’s salary is obscene, then could she please return the money? Like, today. It’s just not enough to agree to a pay-cut, members will want their money back, what’s left of the Victorian HSU is on the verge of becoming a smouldering ruin because of the indulgence of a few, including Jackson. No-one familiar with the Jacksons in the Victorian HSU are buying Kathy’s act. This is a fraud on a grand scale, those buying it are going to look very silly, very soon.”