Who wants to be a mil­lion­aire

Union boss set for $10m govt role

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - DARYL PASSMORE

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.

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