Governance update


The ASU Branch Executive recently finalised an independent external Review of governance issues after concerns were raised about officials' compliance with union policies. During the Review, several issues were identified – one of which related to the engagement of a building service provider for maintenance of the ASU office building in Carlton. We want to make sure you have the facts about this matter.

The Review was carried out by Neil Pope – an expert in the field, with great integrity who has served as a Minister, was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia and is member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

  • The Review found that the building services arrangement was in clear contravention of our governance arrangements;
  • Mr Brian Parkinson was an officer of the Union at the time and failed to disclose a "related party" payment;
  • On 30 January this year, Mr Parkinson was charged with breaches of the union's policies in relation to the matter;
  • Mr Parkinson was given an opportunity to respond at a hearing held by the Branch Executive, which decided to uphold the charges, including gross misbehaviour and gross neglect of duties;
  • As a result, Mr Parkinson has been dismissed from his current honorary office of National Conference Delegate and the union has withdrawn our endorsement of Mr Parkinson as an ASU nominee of the Vision Superannuation Board.

We regret the circumstances, but members have the right to know that your ASU representatives uphold the Union's values and act with integrity. That is why we have taken appropriate steps to resolve the matter in accordance with the Review findings.

As a member of the Australian Services Union, you deserve a strong union which protects your interests and actively works to achieve better outcomes for you. To deliver that, the union must have strong and effective governance arrangements and officials must uphold union policies.

We are now taking further steps to update the union's approach to governance.

  • We have selected an external provider to undertake a broader finance and governance review which will look at the current structures, processes and policies of the union.
  • We are updating the compulsory training that union officers must undertake in relation to good finance and governance.

These initiatives are about ensuring that the union remains strong, so we can keep focussing on the things that matter to members, such as your pay and conditions at work and pursuing changes to the rules and laws that are supposed to protect Australian workers.



David Balcombe 2nd March 2018  
  This is a decision by our Union that is to be applauded. The issue is not about the person but about the principle of good governance and directing all of the resources of the union to fighting for the rights of and benefits for workers.  
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