Today sees the launch of the Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC). This campaigning group is designed to reform the anomalies which see trade unions unfairly take public money and resources to support their own objectives while holding the tax payer to ransom.
At least £133 million of taxpayers money is used by trade unions to pay for union staff working to further union ends while tax payers pick up the bill. This amount is almost certainly a gross underestimate. Further resources are also expended through the use of facilities which are donated free of charge to Unions which should instead be classrooms or nurses surgeries. Government departments even get involved in docking the pay of workers to pay for union subs at no charge to the union. This is all money and resources which should be better directed towards front line staff like nurses, social workers, doctors and teachers. This misspending is present across all elements of state spending – from central government to the NHS to schools to our local authorities. As the Prime Minister himself has said “I do not think full-time trade unionists working in the public sector on trade union business rather than serving the public is right, and we will put that to an end”.
Mark Clarke is the Chief Executive, responsible for the day to day running of the campaign. Mark first brought this issue to public notice with the exposure of Jane Pilgrim – a so called nurse who was actually a full time £40k a year trade union activist, running a private consultancy on the side while squatting in a commune.