A few quotes from a "Governing Body Guide" for South African schools I was skimming through for work:
The governance of a public school is entrusted to a democratically elected governing body which stands in a position of trust to the school...
It is important to note that it is government policy is to invite union representatives to attend all working meetings of the interview committee. However, these persons attend the meetings as observers only. They are there to ensure that the correct procedures are followed, that the process is fair, and that the interview committee is accountable to the school community.
The US, of course, is marching rapidly away from these kind of ideas.