July 13th, 2012

Tax Funded Union Research Backs Tax Funding of Unions

On the day that the consultation into union-leeches is launched, Unison have put out a report about facilities time. In a complete shock the union-funded research has found that unions taking money off  the taxpayer can only be a good thing. Needless to say it’s full of holes, but nice of them to show their hand…

Dave Prentis’ cronies are arguing that union bods in the workplace save money. This is fundamentally dishonest as it only takes into account one side of the picture. For every full-time pilgrim teacher, nurse or back-room pen-pusher that takes time off, the taxpayer has to pick up the tab twice by paying someone else to cover for them. For full-time pilgrims, the state ends up paying double the staffing costs.

This is not factored in to Unison’s hearsay case-study puff piece.

The consultation does not seek to end union officials being given time off, but the real question that needs to be addressed is why they should be paid out of public money when they are not on the job? Union members pay membership fees, the cost of pilgrims should be met from that.

It’s very simple.

UPDATE: It seems it is pilgrim day today. Cabinet Office sources are making all sorts of new information available this afternoon:

  • In one Whitehall department a staggering 2,660 Civil Servants were doing trade union work during their paid hours, including 563 trade union representatives working on Health & Safety, and another 387 on Skills and Learning.
  • A prison service official who worked 100% on trade union work was “promoted twice whilst in their trade union role, up to Grade 7 level” which can confer a salary of up to £61,038.
  • In contrast another 100% trade union representative in a different department earned less than £20,000.
  • In one department TU officials make up 4% of the overall workforce or 1 in 25 people.
  • One department admitted that “no formal allocations [had been] made or central records kept” of the amount of time spent by representatives on some union activity, while another confessed that “no central monitoring takes place”.
  • Only one department reported that they asked each representative “to apply to, and get the sign off from, the line manager in advance for the time they require” to take off – insisting that “reasonable notice (usually min 10 days)” must be given.
  • Several departments reported that they held “no central record” of the numbers of representatives working on Health & Safety or Skills & Learning.

Overall there are a staggering 10,000 civil servants doing trade union work during paid hours, that’s 1 in 40 of the total civil service workforce. Unbelievable… 



  1. 1
    Unite we stand Unite we fall says:

    It’s our rights


    • 23
      The Taxpayer says:

      Lazy bums. This is not about rights, it is about costs. Take the time off if you want, (one lazy civil servant is very much like another) but pay for your laxity yourself.


    • 26
      M says:

      Should anyone need app on their phone for employment law so they know where they stand in the work place I’m sure it’s out there & FREE
      And that way the worker doesnt have to pay protection money to the unions


      • 120
        Parsley says:

        Better still take out legal protection, and sue the asses off the unions when they don’t stick up for you because they are too busy sucking up to Labour


    • 41
      Engineer says:

      Rights? Yeah, sure – but what about responsibilities? If the taxpayer pays you, you’ve a responsibility to do the job the taxpayer is paying you for. If the Union pays you, your responsibility is to the Union. However, if the taxpayer pays you, the taxpayer may become rather pissed off if you think your responsibility is to the Union, and not said taxpayer.

      Hope that helps.


    • 54
      Hattie says:


    • 58
    • 85
      Popeye says:

      Sort it out Cameron, this is the sort of thing you were elected for.
      Poncing about with gay marriage and foreign war war excursions were not part of your remit.
      A referendum on Europe wouldn’t go amiss either.


  2. 2
    1 in 40 says:

    It’s a good life


  3. 3
    UKIP.i.am says:

    Not unbelievable at all. I am surprised it isnt more than 1 in 40. No wonder public sector spending shows little sign of reducing.

    It is a huge scandal that dwarfs anything Bob Diamond has done. They are all in it together.


    • 17
      Screwed Taxpayer says:

      How many out of each 40 are on sick leave, or PC awareness training etc. etc.? A blxxdy site more than one. The public sector employees are nearly all skiving fxxkers.


  4. 4
    Ed Millibland says:

    This beggars belief…. errr I think …… Len????


    • 59
      Ed Millibland says:

      Len where are you when I need you. People with camera’s and stuff are asking me questions!


  5. 5
    Pisswilliam says:

    I’d rather my money was spent on trade union ‘leeches’ than on, oh let me see…
    1. banker’s bonuses
    2. The Olympics
    3. MP’s expenses
    4. Repaying PFI extortion
    5. government snooping at my email
    6. Tony Blair’s continued existence on this planet
    7. another fucking parliamentary enquiry into anything
    8. lawyers
    9. the House Of Lords
    10. almost anything else our masters are pissing down the toilet..


    • 9
      Nullbymouth says:

      I’d rather my money was spent on NONE of them thanks including Leeches


    • 64
      smoggie says:

      Since when were bankers’ bonuses paid out of income tax receipts?


      • 123
        Tiger Tiger says:

        Bankers bonuses are paid out of your pocket by giving them money created out of nothing, which depreciates the value of your money. Creating and wasting this fiat currency is what grants them the bonuses and undermines the real economy. All such bankers and their political stooges should be eliminated.


  6. 6
    AnAngryFarmer says:

    Bloodsucking parasites


  7. 8
    Reader says:

    Not shit sherlock.


  8. 10
    Screwed Taxpayer says:

    How long will it take gutless Dave to sort this? For ever? Also eliminating fxxking stupid PC prosecutions for trivial racial abuse costing the taxpayer a fortune in legal fees?


  9. 11
    camerhoon - the tool says:

    It’s part of my Fairness Agenda


  10. 12
    Nullbymouth says:

    Here is an idea. Get MP’s to do 100% facility time for the unions. This would get my vote as …….

    1. They do fuck all anyway
    2. Better the unions got the benefit of their ‘expertise’ ;)


    • 43
      Lord Stansted says:

      and the unions are bound to be given an expense bill by the MPs. Win Win.


    • 124
      Laughing Out Loud says:

      The public should not be expected to pay anything at all to politicians. Politicians should be paid by their political supporters. They already work for special interests, and spend their time whoring themselves out as influence peddlers, when not lying about expenses or boozing at public expense. They do not serve the public, they merely exploit them.


  11. 15
    Solomon Hughes says:

    To be clear, you mean something like 1 in 40 civil servants take some time off for TU duties – or, roughly speaking, there is an office rep for every 40 staff who does , say, an hour a week as union rep, rather than 1 in 40 are full time union reps, I think


    • 21
      Nullbymouth says:

      Correct its only 250 !! who are 100% TU full time. So nothing to worry about its only £8.3m @ £30k pa (+ NHI)

      Wonder how many soldiers could be employed for £8.3m?


      • 47
        MrAngry61 says:

        I wonder how many of the MoD civil servants parasites are pilgrims? Then a direct comparison could be done.


        • 90
          Archer Karcher says:

          MoD admin civil servants could be cut by 75% and none would notice any difference. Though paper clips might run out on the odd occasion until they got the hang of things.


      • 103
        Anonymous says:

        It really is a disgrace that this has been allowed to happen. Pilgrims should be paid for from union subs, maybe the Bob Crows of this world should take a pay cut.After all he is in council accommodation so doesnt need a massive salary to pay his rent from.


  12. 18
    Nullbymouth says:

    Seriously it would be great to know, out of 100 Public sector workers how many on average are productive after you have taken out …

    1. TU work
    2. Joining the Institute Of Meeting Engineers on pointless days away
    3. Sickies
    4. Generous holidays


    • 125
      Laughing Out Loud says:

      Then consider the waste and even malignity of government policies which they implement when actually working. Very little of the money spent on and by the civil service is worthwhile.


  13. 19
    Ed Moribund says:

    A staggering 10,000 civil servants doing trade union work during paid hours, that’s 1 in 40 of the total civil service workforce. Unbelievable…

    That is unbelievable. I assure Dave Prentiss the figure will be 30,000 if I’m elected PM.


  14. 20
    Albert Hall says:

    I’ve done work in public buildings all over the place and the notice boards are infested with union propaganda, not much in the way of genuine notices though that actually relate to business in hand.


    • 25
      Elf & safety says:

      If you don’t have RAMS & PPE you may sever an artery pinning a notice on the board, therefore only approved pinners may use the notice board


      • 65
        €USSR Compliance Department says:

        Wonderful news!


      • 93
        Archer Karcher says:

        Quite so, untrained and dangerous pinning, has caused more than 250 days to be lost to pinning injuries in the DfID alone this year.


        • 132
          Polly from the print room says:

          We use one of those electric staple gun thingies beloved of upholsterers and carpenters. I tell you straight, the number of times the secretaries have to take time off to get their nails redone after trying to get one of those staples out of the notice board as they remove expired notices is quite astonishing.


  15. 27
    Sir Humphrey Appleby says:

    “While it would seem that one could effect economies, Minister, by making so- called Pilgrims perform the jobs for which they are ostensibly paid, an important and crucial question is begged– are we not assuming that these people would be any good at what they were hired to do, and isn’t the fact that they have drifted into these sinecure positions possibly the illustration of the fact that, being incompetent at what they do, they are now being protected by doing union work and we are protected from them? This is a political question, and one which the people have reposed their faith in you to solve, and as usual, Minister, it’s your call; I can but advise…”


    • 44
      Lord Stansted says:



      • 60
        Lord Stanstead's Valet (with a 't') says:

        I can but agree with His Lordship and add my +1! And if I may say, on behalf of all thinking people, several million more!

        Will that be all Sir?


    • 87
      The Golem says:

      Excellent! A true classic. I always reckoned YM was a documentary series disguised as inspired comedy.


  16. 29
    The BBC says:

    This story will not be reported as our schedules are full of more worthy news, such as; evil Tories eating in posh restaurants and a terrible case of a Tory mp using a bus which denies the seat to a Somali OAP.

    Now move along and don’t forget to pay your tellytax.


  17. 30
    Nullbymouth says:

    What about all the time we taxpayers pay for at the start of every meeting (and there will be lots of meetings) when the assembled rabble may have some time to worship their favourite sky-pixey?


    • 134
      Polly from the time-keeper's room says:

      …and meetings rarely if ever start at the advertised time, especially if some bigwig from HQ or the regional office is expected to attend.


  18. 31
    BBC spokesperson (and don't forget us at C4) says:

    We shall be going with the Unison story, if, and it’s still a big if, we report this at all.

    Oh, and don’t worry our go betweens tell us that the few that will lose their jobs will be replaced ten-fold when we, err, labour get back in power.

    Were petty, spitfull, and mean-minded like that, you know.


  19. 32
    SouthEastVoter says:

    This explains why I did not notice when they all went shopping (strike) before Christmas.


  20. 35
    Charles says:

    For a split second I thought Dave Prentis was of Prentis McCabe, and that I’d been dragged into a satire, where they were producing a wheeze in exchange for a very large fee.


  21. 36
    John Lewis says:

    We are issuing a profits warning based on this, as we expect exploratory research based shopping trips to be on the decline.


  22. 37
    Kinky osborne says:


  23. 38
    Simon says:

    Lets keep this simple – this is all down to the Labour Party channelling taxpayers money to their backers – corruption pure and simple, and can be ranked along with the Union Modernisation Fund which again was a way of transferring tax payers money to the backers of the Labour Party. We will always here a lot about Ashcroft on the BBC but guaranteed we do not hear any analysis of this disgraceful cronyism


  24. 39

    John Terry found not guilty.


    • 40
      anon says:

      well was breaking about 50 minutes ago !!


    • 45
      BREAKING NEWS says:

      Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said he had heard a great deal of evidence to show Mr Terry was not a racist. In his written judgement, he said that after weighing the evidence it was “highly unlikely” that Mr Terry abused Mr Ferdinand in the manner he was accused of”.


  25. 46
    Q says:

    Why do the unions have names that mean nothing like Unison? I have some suggestions for names that they could use …

    1. Lichen
    2. Remora
    3. Yeast

    These from a brand perspective would serve to explain their purpose better


  26. 48
    Jacky Treehorn says:

    I bet that ugly fat lying Union nurse Pilgrim wishes she had kept her big mouth shut.


    • 50
      Q says:

      Unfortunately the DNA will prevent thought such as that.
      It will be that right wing rebel rouser gweeedo who done it


  27. 53
    Gordon Brown says:

    Toady, I am a chicken … and I’m going to lay an egg here … and here … and here …


  28. 73
    Not such an Ass says:

    John Terry cleared of racism against Anton Ferdinand


  29. 74
    SouthEastVoter says:

    On Harriet Harman’s website she states the following:
    “Because I believe my constituents have a right to know what I spend on my work as MP, for many years I have published a breakdown of my expenditure in my annual report. ”

    Last quoted figures on her website are 2008. I will check what she spent in 2011 in 2016 then.


  30. 76
    Henri says:

    There appears to be a growing dislike of “trolls” on blogs by the left.

    The left don’t like trolls because they cannot control them

    I like the direct communication style of many trolls

    Rather than pen a long critique of the leftist Unions it is more efficient to say they are a bunch of fucking parasites


  31. 91
    Bed & Breakfast aka Blair and Brown says:

    It took us 16 years to put thousands of our union brothers in place in the government civil service and all public services at public expense, and we will fight for them on the beaches at Omaha or Obama – whatever.


    • 98
      Sixupman says:

      Many years ago, before British Telecom – it was then the P.O. Engineering Dept., union officials were promoted to the status away above the people they purported to represent, even if they were thickos.


  32. 97
    Backwoodsman says:

    •In one Whitehall department a staggering 2,660 Civil Servants were doing trade union work during their paid hours, including 563 trade union representatives working on Health & Safety

    Does not compute …
    For years I worked for one of the largest underwater engineering and diving companies in the offshore business, with operations worldwide.
    The total size of the safety department, was less than 20 people.
    How can Whitehall require more health and safety than commercial diving !!!


    • 106

      @Backwoodsman — I took it to mean TU reps who were civil servants working on health and safety legislation and governance, not those applying H&S within the department.


    • 107
      South of the M4 says:

      You have answered your own question. Whitehall is not a ‘ commercial ‘ operation and the culture is not to manage to turn a profit. They can thus have as many bed-wetters as possible all with very narrow job scopes. Probably a safety officer for paper clips
      and a another one for staplers etc.


  33. 108
    Mathematical pedant says:

    I agree with the sentiment, but not Guido’s arithmetic. You can’t claim that each Pilgrim costs double. If you sacked them all, you’d still need to employ someone to do their ‘real ‘ work (I’m assuming the work is worth doing). So the cost of the Pilgrims is simply what we’re paying them, not double.


    • 109
      Mathematical pedant ? I dont think so . says:

      Not so, the point being made is that we are ALREADY paying for someone else to do their job since they are not fulfilling the role themselves despite receiving a wage to do so.Now since someone else has to be employed it therefore costs the tax payer twice the amount as stated.


    • 110
      Anonymous says:

      You may be correct mathematically BUT what Guido did not count was the cost of HR staff to deal with the Pilgrims. You can bet that there will be at least one HR person (probably more) needed to “dialogue” with the union reps and write up reports and attend meetings about the reports and so on …….
      So probably Guido understates the real cost to us.


    • 112

      Under your own rules, that is not quite right either.

      The purpose of union business is to extract more cash from the employer and/or to do less work.

      Therefore we are paying for them to make the service, for which they ostensibly work, less efficient.

      What that correlates to, I cannot say but it will be a figure and it will not be small. It could even be more than two times their cost.


  34. 111
    The Union for Meddling Old Bags In Edinburgh says:

    Parasites! Leeches!


  35. 115
    Red against union full timers says:

    You thick c*nts don’t get it.

    Anyone who’s been involved with their union at work realises that the full timers are the biggest obstacle to industrial action.

    Remove this bureaucratic layer and you have the more millitant workers unrestrained influence. The people who should be railing against union full-timers aren’t right wing ‘libertarians’, but those on the left who reject ALL bosses, employers or union.


  36. 116
    hey nonny mouse says:

    Guido’s maths are rather odd. He writes:
    “This is fundamentally dishonest as it only takes into account one side of the picture. For every full-time pilgrim teacher, nurse or back-room pen-pusher that takes time off, the taxpayer has to pick up the tab twice by paying someone else to cover for them. For full-time pilgrims, the state ends up paying double the staffing costs.”
    In such a case, the state pays 2 salaries and gets 1 person’s worth of work. The marginal cost of paying for the ‘pilgrim’ is therefore 1 salary.
    Put it another way. If the ‘pilgrim’ is required to give up their pilgrimage and return to official duties, the only cost saved is the salary of the person previously hired to cover for them, i.e. 1 salary. So it’s not the union that is counting half the cost but Guido who’s counting double.

    In other news, even if one staff member in 40 is doing union work, most of them will be doing a very small amount of it. For instance (declaration of interest!) I spend roughly 1 day per quarter on union business. [This is in connection with health and safety (boo, hiss) but it helps the organisation to meet legal duties laid on it by Parliament and to avoid prosecution or costly compensation claims.] There are far more union members doing small amounts of union work than working full or even half time for their unions. So 1 in 40 staff comes nowhere near to 1 in 40 staff days: 1 in 2000 would be nearer the mark.


  37. 130
    Jimmy says:

    “4% of the overall workforce or 1 in 25 people.”

    I like the way you never talk down to your audience.


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