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Unions dominate Employment Relations Authority

Max Bradford


National Industrial Relations Spokesperson

Thursday 5 October 2000

Unions dominate Employment Relations Authority

Business can have no confidence in the Government taking a balanced view on the Employment Relations Act.

"This is shown by the appointments to the Employment Relations Authority announced by the Minister of Labour," National Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"Of the thirteen members to the new Authority, seven have strong union or Labour Party backgrounds. Only two members have employer backgrounds.

"Three are from the Public Service and one from a legal practice.

"In my term as Minister of Labour, and I know this to be true of other Ministers, we took great care to ensure a balance of numbers and experience so there could never be an accusation of bias in such an important institution in the labour market.

"Clearly the Government is determined to skew the legal system in favour of unions just like the Employment Relations Act does.

"It is well known there has been substantial controversy over the appointments to the Employment Relations Authority.

"There are strong rumours of significant payouts to Employment Tribunal members, and direct Ministerial interference in the normally politics free process of appointments to labour market institutions.

"These appointments, which are not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, simply mean employers will have to be doubly careful handling the relationship between themselves and their staff. The gross imbalance towards union representation in the Authority carries with it the significant risk that they will not get proper and balanced justice through the processes established under the ERA."

Ends


Appointee Background

Union or Labour Party Background:

Mr Alistair Dumbleton New Zealand Airline Pilots Assn legal advisor (Chief)

Mr Denis Alan Asher Public Service Association legal advisor, union delegate and advisor

Mr Philip Francis Cheyne Canterbury Hotel Workers Union legal officer.

Dr Dzintra Maija King Union organiser, first for the Northern Local Government Officers' Union then from 1993 with the Public Service Association.

Mr Neville Barry Taylor NZ Electrical and Electronics Workers' Union - Organiser/Research Officer and later as Assistant National Secretary. Worked for the NZ Harbour Workers' Union and the NZ Nurses' Association.

Ms Yvonne Sidney Oldfield Northern Hotel Workers Union legal office.

Ms Susan Carol Bathgate Chair, Complaints Review Tribunal

Employer Background

Mr Ralph Gardiner Senior Industrial Advocate for the Auckland Employers' Association.

Mr Jim Wilson Health Sector Employer's representative

Other (incl Public Service)

Ms Julie Louisa Kemp Lawyer

Ms Rosemary Ann Monaghan Public Service Mr Paul Rodney Stapp Public Service

Mr Gregory (Greg) Jowatt Wood Public Service

Regards


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