The TPA have found that Peterborough City Council who plan to increase their council tax by 2.95%, out of necessity plan to maintain the funding for their full time UNISON representatives.
The TPA has now identified two full-time tax payer funded UNISON activists within the council. Their high salaries mean that the people of Peterborough are feeling the pinch in order for the council to channel more money into trade union activities.
Rona Hendry the UNISON branch secretary will cost tax payers over £43,600 in the next twelve months. Her branch Assistant Secretary, Mark Burn salary is also fully taxpayer funded, costing Peterborough residents £29,700 a year.
A member of Peterborough City Council; Cllr Irene Walsh explained when you take into account the benefits provided by the council, including free office facilities, the estimated bill to the Peterborough tax payer is £83,500 – 48% more than what was suggested by the TPA in November.
To read the full TPA article and see the letter from Cllr Irene Walsh click here
Click here to read Christopher Hope’s article in today’s Daily Telegraph interviewing Conservative MP Matthew Hancock about trade union reform. In the article Hancock is quoted as saying, ““Public money should pay for public services not [full time officials]. The Localism Act is the chance for all Councils to end this unfairness and ensure taxpayers’ money is spent on services not subsidies.”
The Evening Standard has a trail of our launch event tonight, with a speech by Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for Local Government:
Councils may be ordered to publish details of how much taxpayers’ money they are spending on salaries and buildings for trade union officials, the Standard has learned. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants to bring in binding rules to open up the books after estimates that public bodies are spending £113 million a year on staff working on trade union activities.
In a speech tonight, Mr Pickles will accuse Labour authorities of “waging class war with public funds” by giving an effective subsidy to unions that are opposed to government policies.
Mr Pickles will say: “The public want their council tax frozen and their bins emptied every week. They don’t want it spent on trade unions’ political campaigning. It’s not right that the public’s money is covertly being used to bankroll union activists. They are diverting resources away from frontline services, waging class war with public funds.” He will speak at the launch of Trade Union Reform Campaign tonight at the Commons, a pressure group formed by Tory MPs to campaign for a crackdown. Calling for an end to “these non-jobs on the rates”, Mr Pickles will add: “Public sector workers need proper information about the political levy many are unwittingly paying.”
A new row over taxpayer-funded union officials broke out today as a cash-strapped London council admitted paying more than £300,000 to a National Union of Teachers official.
Julie Davies, who is involved in campaigning against the Government’s school reforms, has not taught since 2000 when she became a five-days-a-week representative of the NUT.
But Haringey council continues to pay her between £35,000 and £45,000 as an English teacher at Northumberland Park Community School. She is among hundreds of public sector staff across Britain paid from the tax purse to carry out union activities under local agreements.
Conservative MPs called it a waste of cash by a council that has complained about spending cuts. Last year it ordered £84 million cuts out of a budget of £273 million, shedding 1,000 jobs. It has the worst primary school results in inner London, with English and maths scores sliding recently.
Enfield North Tory MP Nick de Bois said: “This is a scandalous waste of tax-payer’s money. With priorities skewed in this way, it’s no wonder Labour-run Haringey has consistently failed to deliver improvements to its schools.”
Let us know about other taxpayer funded trade union activists you discover.
The Trade Union Reform Campaign has already secured significant Parliamentary support for the aims of ending public subsidy to the Trade Union Movement: we have already assisted with two 10 Minute Rule Bills, two Early Day Motions and countless Parliamentary Questions. From the outset we recognised that a strong role in Parliament was vital to delivering an end to Trade Union subsidies, described as immoral and unethical by the Prime Minister.
In order to secure this we are establishing a Parliamentary Council across both houses. We are proud to announce our House of Commons members and will be announcing our group in the Lords in the coming weeks. The TURC Chairman Aidan Burley and CEO Mark Clark are pleased to announce that the following Members of Parliament have joined:
These MP come from diverse backgrounds, are at various stages of their careers and represent constituencies right across the country. We believe this strong team will enable us to take forward a positive agenda in Parliament and in the media.
Many MPs and Peers support the Trade Unions and recieve donations from them, TURC does not pay, fund or offer expenses to any of our Parliamentary Council. Each member has joined as a result of a genuine committment to protecting taxpayers from paying for these unfair subsidies. We are very proud to have their support and guidance.
Yesterday Hereford and South Herefordshire Member of Parliament Jesse Norman tabled a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons, calling for and end to taxpayers’ money being used to fund Trade Union activities and for money already spent to be returned. You can read his excellent speech here or watch it below.
Union backed Labour MP’s clubbed together to block the Ten Minute Rule Bill being brought as a full Bill before the House of Commons.
You can read about the debate and result from the BBC here and Guido Fawkes blog here.