The Telegraph today picked up the TaxPayersâ€™ Alliance story about the unions receiving Â£85.8 million per annum from the state. Much of this, some Â£67.5 million, is â€œfacility timeâ€ whereby union reps in government employment still get paid when they are on union business.
In their report the TPA were told by Ealing council that they allow the equivalent of three full-time equivalents (FTEs) for facility time for Unison and GMB reps. The TPS value this time at Â£81,251. I would say that was an underestimate. For middle ranking staff and taking into account their total cost of employment the sum would be well over Â£100,000.
We have all heard, not least from council leader Julian Bell himself, that the council faces hard choices. I would rather see the council lose these 3 FTE than 3 social workers say. Itâ€™s all about priorities.