As Members may recall from our newsletter of April 1, the VHPA was one of a number of Unions served with a Notice to Produce (documents) by the Heydon Royal Commission. The immediate effect was that we had to turn our attention to putting together a large amount of information in a short space of time.
It is clear that the Royal Commission will continue to impact upon the Branch and impose a burden on the staff and officers of the VHPA. It is also clear that the associated legal costs will be substantial.
We are working with our insurance company to minimize our costs here. In fact, we took out, in conjunction with the NSW Branch, an extra insurance policy in the lead up to the Commission. This prudent decision will be of significant benefit to the Branch over the coming period.
It is important that members are aware of these matters and appreciate the strain we are working under as well as the broader picture.
“This [the Heydon Royal Commission] is going to be tough going for the Branch. We will of course do all we can to keep members up to date with all that is happening over the coming year,” said VHPA Secretary, Craig McGregor.
“We are committed to exposing all evidence of past corruption, should any exist, within the Branch,” concluded McGregor.
“The challenge for the VHPA Organising Team,” noted VHPA Lead Organiser Linda Jenkin, “is to ensure that, whilst all this happens around us, all industrial issues – both individual and collective – get the attention they need.”
“This is clearly not going to be an easy task however, it’s one that we’re both committed to and confident about achieving,” continued Jenkin. “Now more than ever before, informed and active Members and Delegates are vital to us continuing to make gains at work and grow as a Branch”.
Members should feel free to contact the Branch with any questions they have.
There have recently been a couple of great articles written about the Royal Commission. The first by Jim Marr, provides a useful historical perspective on this and other investigations into Unions http://workinglife.org.au/2014/04/14/royal-commissions-rhetoric-is-hard-to-swallow/
However, it is perhaps the recent article in The Guardian by Tim Lyons, ACTU Assistant Secretary, which resonates with us the most at the moment, touching as it does on both the day-to-day work that Unions do and the need to fight back. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/10/the-war-on-unions-is-on-its-time-to-fight-back