The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal after a personal assistant to a mayor was sacked for signing the nomination form for another mayoral candidate.

The Council’s protocol on elections stated that staff could not align themselves with or support candidates.  The employee had not read the protocol and signed the nomination form on the spur of the moment.

The ERA found the protocol to be contradictory and not in line with those of other councils.  It also found that the CEO had applied the policy inconsistently by allowing another staff member to support a different candidate, but dismissing the employee in this case.

The CEO had also approached the disciplinary investigation with a predetermined outcome.

The ERA awarded $31,000 for lost wages and $6,000 for hurt and humiliation.  Reinstatement was refused because of the breakdown in the relationship.