Danya Levy at Stuff reports:
Government cronyism is being blamed for delays in Employment Relations Authority investigations, caused by a 76 per cent turn over of its members in two years. …
The contracts of seven members had expired since 2010 and a further six would expire between June and the end of the year. They are appointed by the Governor-General, on the recommendation of Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson.
Labour’s industrial relations spokeswoman Darien Fenton said some members had wanted to stay on but their contracts were not renewed.
“The minister is clearly wanting to put her own people in there, what we would describe as cronies.”
How dare Kate Wilkinson appoint different people to whom Labour appointed. Just because they won two elections is no reason they should appoint different people to whom Labour did.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the organisation was consulted on appointments and had a policy of approving the reappointment of competent members, regardless of whether it agreed with their decisions.
I’m a bit cynical that the CTU doesn’t ever link their agreement with decisions with whether they think someone is competent. Are they really saying they regard someone as competent if they disagree with all their decisions?
As far as I can tell the vast majority of ERA members under Labour were former union lawyers. Now as far as I can tell, there are a few ex-union lawyers on there, a couple of ex-employers assn lawyers and the majority have just worked privately (for both employers and employees). That seems pretty balanced to me.