Who wants to be a millionaire
Union boss set for $10m govt role
THE LNP has slammed the Palaszczuk Government over a $10 million jobs-for-thegirls move to hand a top role to a union chief.
It is believed Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace will recommend Queensland Teachers’ Union vice-president Samantha Pidgeon be appointed to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
The job has a salary of $353,763 a year, plus an annual education and conference allowance of $18,326.
Ms Pidgeon’s wage would be bigger than Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s $351,788 annual salary.
It is also a job for life, with in- dustrial commissioners holding office until they turn 70, unless they resign. Ms Pidgeon turns 44 next month, meaning she could be in the role for 26 years and earn $9.67 million, even without taking into account indexing for inflation. It is understood that commissioners are also eligible for taxpayer-funded pensions of 60 per cent of their salary when they retire. “This again just shows how inappropriate the appointment processes are with the Palaszczuk Government,” LNP industrial relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said. “The unions are running the Government.” Mr Bleijie said Ms Pidgeon’s lack of experience made her an un- suitable choice and called for her to “do the honourable thing” and refuse the role.
Ms Pidgeon recently finished a three-year government-appointed stint at Seqwater, a role that paid $58,000 a year. In June, she was appointed to the board of Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
A Labor Party member, Ms Pidgeon is in the same Old Guard faction as Ms Grace (pictured left), whose portfolio includes education.
Ms Pidgeon did not return calls yesterday. There is no suggestion of impropriety on the part of Ms Pidgeon in being offered her latest role.
A Government spokesman said the appointment was yet to be considered by Cabinet. There had been no trade union appointment to the QIRC in a generation, but employer groups were over-represented.
PICK ME: Teachers’ union official Sam Pidgeon is being tipped to join the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.