Unison’s Taxpayer-Funded Lansley Smearer

Jane Pilgrim is a “nurse” at St George’s Hospital Trust in Tooting, though hospital insiders say she has not worked on the front-line for a very long time. That is because she is the a full time  Unison representative, paid for by the taxpayer not to do her real job. A TPA report into this loophole that the unions exploit said that St George’s was employing 1.6 union officials at a cost of £43,000 to the taxpayer.

So what does Nurse Pilgrim do for this money? Well her CV describes her as “Award Winning Partnership Project Leader”, or in other words, exactly the sort of fodder that should be cut. When Labour were in power this “Award Winning Leader” (and Labour party member,) spent most of her time organising “Staff Safaris” to John Lewis and Wagamamas to “motivate, empower and inspire“, while we picked up the tab. Now she has a new role…

Since May Jane has popped up all over the place attacking the government, she even threatened to go on strike, not that she’s a real nurse. On Monday Jane got a whole headline and piece in The Standard:

Nurse brands Andrew Lansley ‘a liar’
A nurse and Unison representative for St George’s Hospital today branded Health Secretary Andrew Lansley a “liar” for promising frontline employees they would be protected when he met staff before the general election. Jane Pilgrim, 53, a nurse for 33 years, said: “Mr Lansley visited the hospital and told us we would not be affected. He lied to us.”

But the problem for Jane is that some people have a better memory of event in late summer 2009. Sources at the hospital have confirmed that Jane “boycotted” the meeting for political reasons, refusing to meet the then Shadow Health Secretary. Those that did attend say far from Lansley saying there would not be cuts, he infact stated that “he could make no promises and it would be up to local management”. Other people in the meeting have confirmed this version of events.

Jane and her guilty conscience were very sketchy about explaining all this on the phone until she had checked with the regional Unison bod Michael Walker. When Guido called back she point blank refused to engage and threatened an “investigation”:

Could that be because she lied to the Standard?

So here we have a taxpayer funded official, with a pointless job, who has a track record of defending pointless spending, using her position to accuse her ultimate boss of being a liar based on a meeting which she boycotted because she was so politically partisan she could not bring herself to attend.

Why should the public pay for a union smear operation?

UPDATE: Unison’s delightful head of press Mary Maguire seems to awknowledge she doesn’t have a leg to stand on:

‘Fraid it doesn’t quite work like that Mary.



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GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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