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Rankin decision slap for Government

Roger Sowry National State Services Spokesperson

Tuesday 17 April 2001

Rankin decision slap for Government

The decision by the Employment Relations Authority to refer Christine Rankin's case to the Employment Court is a slap in the face for the Government, National's State Services spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"Serious allegations have been made by Ms Rankin about political interference. The actions of Steve Maharey and Trevor Mallard have been brought into question and will be examined by the Employment Court.

"The Government shouldn't try to sneak around and attempt to stop the case from being heard in court.

"If Mr Maharey and Mr Mallard have been interfering and breaking the law then the public needs to know," Mr Sowry said.

Ms Rankin claims that the State Services Commissioner's decision not to reappoint her was 'predetermined and influenced by political and other irrelevant considerations'.

In referring the case to the Employment Court, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) took account of the 'importance of the public having proper confidence in the Public Service and the serious allegation of political interference'. The ERA was 'mindful of the public's legitimate expectation that the Commissioner will make chief executive officer and other appointments objectively and free of political interference'.

Ms Rankin has requested that her case be heard with urgency due to the Government's decision to merge Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Policy into a new Ministry of Social Development.

"The Government passed the Employment Relations Act to give more power to employees yet they have been working behind the scenes in a way which prejudices an employee," Mr Sowry said.

Ends

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