INDEPENDENT NEWS

Politicisation Of Employment Relations Authority

Published: Wed 15 Nov 2000 04:05 PM
Govt. Officials Confirm Politicisation Of Employment Relations Authority
Government officials have confirmed that, for the first time in 10 years, Labour Minister Margaret Wilson has politicised the country's official industrial relations institution, National Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.
"The revelation has come during the questioning of Department of Labour officials at a Parliamentary select committee today.
"The Labour Department has confirmed that it recommended to the Minister of Labour the names of 15 people to be appointed to the Employment Relations Authority.
"Approximately two-thirds of the recommended appointments were accepted - and the rest were rejected.
"The officials have confirmed our earlier concerns that between four and six of the appointees to the ERA were made by the Labour Minister without relying on the normal objective and non-partisan process that applied to Employment Tribunal appointments in the past.
"Officials have confirmed that for at least ten years no Minister of Labour has overturned the recommendations of the formal and objective appointment process.
"It has only been under the Labour-Alliance Government that we see the politicisation of appointments to New Zealand industrial relations institutions becoming a reality.
"We've been warning about the Government's approach to the Employment Relations Authority for months. What we've got is an Authority stacked with union and Labour Party hacks handpicked by the Minister.
"Employers must have little confidence in getting a fair hearing as a result," Mr Bradford said.
Ends
Regards
Anna Hughes

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