The council makes a big thing about the Â£85 million savings it is making. At the centre of this is a Â£56 million cut in the councilâ€™s grant which is the equivalent of something like 28% of its grants. At the last council meeting I asked some questions about union facility time. See questions 11, 12 and 13.
Overall union facility time has risen by 5.2% in Labourâ€™s first two years in power. That is right up 5.2%. The council spends Â£264,800 to employ 5.1 people on union business.
It is quite striking that the non-teaching portion of this cash handout to the unions has been frozen for the last two years. The teacher portion of this has shot up 8.9%. Apparently the teacher shop stewards are twice as expensive as the council’s other shop stewards. The teaching shop stewards cost Â£76K per annum each on average. The others cost Â£35K each on average. Apparently Socialist Worker extremists such as Nick Grant and Stefan Simms, secretary and assistant secretary of Ealing’s NUT branch, are worth Â£76K a year each to Ealing residents even when they work for the NUT organising strikes rather than teaching.
The most egregious part of this is that the council has given Nick Grant, the NUTâ€™s branch secretary for Ealing, an extra day a week to undertake his duties as a national executive member. Repeat. This extra cash does nothing for Ealing. It is a gift from you, the Ealing council tax payer, to the NUT union. It is worth about Â£10,000 per annum. When I asked what is the value of this to Ealing council tax payers the answer was:
The arrangement permits some insights and information about the NUTâ€™s approach nationally to various issues such as wage bargaining.
Do you believe this? Is this how you want your money spending?