The Health Services Union says it's determined to wring a $5 million settlement from its disgraced former boss Michael Williamson, who has apparently declared himself bankrupt.
The former HSU secretary and Labor Party president on Tuesday pleaded guilty to various charges including defrauding the union of almost $1 million.
It's reported he declared himself bankrupt on the same day.
With hopes of putting an end to "the Williamson era", the HSU also revealed it had secured a $5 million judgment in a Supreme Court civil claim.
The HSU's Gerard Hayes says the union will do what it can to claw back the money from Williamson, bankrupt or not.
For starters, it hopes to recoup what it can from Williamson's six-bedroom home at Maroubra, which went to auction on Wednesday night. But according to Macquarie Radio, the property failed to sell, with no one putting up a bid.
The three-level rendered brick home on Meagher Ave - with parquet floors, in-ground pool, wine cellar and ocean views - was expected to fetch $1.5 million.
Mr Hayes said union members could still take some comfort from Williamson's guilty plea, the civil settlement and an apology that came with it.
"He's in survival mode and manoeuvring however he can," he told AAP.
"At least the apology is an acknowledgment that he's done what he's done."
In addition, under the civil settlement, the union will not have to pay Williamson's $1.1 million superannuation and $600,000 of claimed leave entitlements.
"This is 1.7 million that is not flowing out of the union," Mr Hayes said.
The agreement was brokered through mediation by former federal attorney-general Robert McClelland, the HSU says.
In the apology, Williamson said he wished to "place on record my sincere apology to all of you".
"You placed your trust in me when I was the General Secretary and I abused that trust," he said.
"I apologise unreservedly to all of you for my actions, which were not in keeping with the position I formerly held."
He says he will "have to live with this matter until the day I die" and urged members "not to desert the union".
Williamson faces up to 30 years in jail.A date for his sentencing will be set on October 25.