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Councils use tax payers’ money for Union Activities

Comment 4th September 2010

 

Make it illegal for councils and other public bodies to use tax payers' money for Union Activities

See "Taxpayers spend millions paying for trade union activities" at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7981717/Taxpayers-spend-millions-paying-for-trade-union-activities.html

Here are a few extracts:

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is being used by public bodies to pay the salaries of trade union officials, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found.

Local authorities across the country are allowing hundreds of their employees to devote all or part of their working week to union, rather than council, duties – while their salaries are paid from public funds.

A survey of 77 English councils by this newspaper found that they spent around £11 million last year on the salaries of individuals who were employed by the councils, but in fact spent their time on trade union duties. [Apparently the actual figure is believed to be far higher.]

The Town Hall payments are made under local agreements struck between each council and the unions that are represented among its workforce.

In some cases, council officials who are also union representatives are paid by the council to work full time for the union. In other cases, councils allow members of their staff to spend a proportion of their working week on union matters, while continuing to pay their full salaries from council funds.

Among the findings of the survey were that: a full-time representative of the Unison union is paid £52,000 a year by Enfield council, while a full-time GMB official at Tower Hamlets is paid £58,106 a year by the council.  The Town Hall payments are made under local agreements struck between each council and the unions that are represented among its workforce.

[Apparently companies like the BBC are equally misusing taxpayers' funds.]

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: "The law says that employers have to give staff reasonable time for union duties. It helps ensure good industrial relations."

 

Why does this matter?

Not only does the Tory Lib Dem alliance need to deal with the deficit. It seems that they also need to do whatever is possible to restore integrity across the board.

While most private individuals are decent and honest, put the same people in positions in private companies, the public sector or in government and far too many let honesty and integrity go by the wayside.

The scandals in the Commons and the banks gambling billions of their customers' money graphically illustrate just how bad things can become but almost daily one hears of lesser examples of companies trying to screw the public.

Clearly this is an epidemic.

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