White must come clean on Labor membership for jobs rule

Revelations that Tasmanian Labor’s rules force taxpayer-funded staff to pay membership fees to the Labor Party and Unions require a full and transparent response from Rebecca White.

It has been revealed that Tasmanian Labor’s Party rules requires that all “appointments to electorate or ministerial offices of State and Federal members of the Parliamentary Labor Party must be members of the Party, and a financial member of the relevant Union”.*

Labor’s rules say that to get a taxpayer-funded job with the Opposition you need to have paid membership fees to the Labor Party and the Unions. This is an appalling, discriminatory practice which Ms White needs to explain.

The Labor Party Rules make absolutely clear that all members are bound by this. There is no way Rebecca White or any other Labor Member of Parliament could claim to be ignorant of it. In fact, it is Ms White who would have ultimate responsibility for enforcing the rule when it comes to Opposition staff.

Claims by Labor’s state secretary that the rule is not enforced don’t pass the sniff test. If it’s not enforced, why has it been left in the rules to give anybody interested in a taxpayer funded job with the Opposition the clear impression that paying membership to Labor and the Unions is a requirement?

In addition to seeking membership fees for jobs, this rule also means that Unions have final and absolute say over who can work for the Labor Party. It’s no wonder that they have a policy to give a blank cheque to Unions when it comes to public sector wages.

*Labor Party Tasmanian Branch Rules (p.10) https://taslabor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2016-AUSTRALIAN-LABOR-PARTY-TASMANIAN-BRANCH-RULES.pdf

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