Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Unison’s Role in the NHS Crisis

Another day and another report suggesting that staffing shortages are killing people in NHS hospitals. Today it’s the Health Select Committee, where last week it was Sir Bruce Keogh who said:

“Statistical analysis performed showed a high correlation between in-patient to staff ratio and a high hospital standardised mortality rates score. When the review teams visited the hospitals, they found frequent examples of inadequate numbers of nursing staff in some ward areas.”

Guido has been crunching the numbers at the 14 hospitals that were investigated by Keogh and he’s found an obvious staffing loophole that would free up more front-line workers: scrapping the Pilgrims. Many of the hospitals or trusts are too incompetent to store data on the amount of time they pay their staff not to do their jobs, but instead act as full-time trade union officials through the controversial and absurd “Facilities Time” system. Nurses, like Jane Pilgrim, are paid not to help heal the sick and needy but spend their time politically agitating instead. All of Guido’s previous work on Pilgrims, and the case against them, can be read here.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has three full time Pilgrims, costing £61,000 per year.  Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has 2.45 “full time equivalents” at the cost of £100,000, while Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals have one and half as do the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are spending £14,000, while Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, £17,000. Guido presumes that hospitals that do not hold the data have a similar level of trade union activity blocking front-line care. There are not enough nurses, so why is the NHS subsidising Unison members to take part in political activity rather than doing their jobs? The trade union is complicit in this crisis.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Victory: Pilgrims Feel the Pain

(Click to Enlarge)

This is the latest PCS poster lamenting the fact full time “pilgrim” civil servants are being made to return to work:

“All reps including the 2 existing full time TUS officers will spend the majority of their time in line jobs with immediate effect… Banned from using DCLG facilities (emails, desks, the building etc) to issue information to members on national issues inlcuding key material on pensions and the Civil Service Management Code.”

Victory!

You can read all Guido’s stories on Pilgrims here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pickles: No More Pilgrims

Eric Pickles has long been a strong supporter of Guido’s campaign against Pilgrims. Today he has been fighting the good fight once again:

“For too long in the public sector, trade unions have received taxpayer funding that is poor value for money and inadequately controlled. Reducing such public subsidies to trade unions is a practical way that councils can save money, to keep council tax down and protect frontline services for local residents – including union members themselves. 

Trade union activities and campaigning in local councils should be funded by members’ subscriptions, not bankrolled by the taxpayer. Freedom from state dependency will also mean that trade union bosses will better reflect and respond to the wishes and views of the grassroots members who pay the bill.”

Guido will soon be able to report how the first stages Frankie Maude’s reforms have impacted on taxpayer-funded trade unionists. Watch this space…

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mr and Mrs Strike

All out over at Education. Well 37.5% out, as some members of the civil service PCS union vote to strike over job cuts in the department. According to PA, PCS boss Mark Serwotka is claiming that the department is being used “as an ideological testbed for wider civil service cuts”. It’s interesting that the main PCS representative in the department is one Ruth Serwotka. It may be no relation, but a Mrs Ruth Serwotka, who is apparently a civil servant, has popped up before.

Is this a case of union royalty using their power couple connection as an ideological test-bed for wider civil service strikes?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween House of Union Horrors
Unions Cost Taxpayer £113 Million-a-Year

Brace yourself for the most terrifying statistic you will read this Halloween: trade unions are being subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of £113 million-a-year. New research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance shows that in 2011-12 £92 million of our money was spent on funding trade union Pilgrims alone.

Not only that, but the report claims that public bodies have even been deducting union subscription fees in the payroll process without charging the unions for the work that requires, in spite of unions themselves claiming the opposite.  

Where is Van Helsing, to plunge a stake straight through the hearts of these taxpayer-funded bloodsuckers once and for all…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fox Opens New Pilgrims Angle

A significant Pilgrims development from yesterday. Liam Fox suggested that unions are basing their calculations for facility time allocations – how many hours taxpayer funded trade unionists are allowed to spent on union acitivity – on a 40% exaggeration of the real figure:

“The picture may actually be worse than appears at face value since the Facility Time allocations – the delightfully obtuse name for official trade union activities — is based on full departmental headcounts not the union membership within a department. For example,the PCS website claims that there are “more than 55,000 members” within Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HM RC). Yet, elsewhere on their website they explain that the HM RC Facility Time allocation for the current year is being based on the departmental headcount of 75,456. In other words, they base their calculations for their union time – and ultimately public remuneration – on a 40% exaggeration of the actual number of members they actually serve.”

Potentially meaning that the unions are raking in huge amounts of taxpayer cash against the rules. This one has legs…

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Local Government Pilgrims Face the Axe
Maude Reforms to Be Recommended Across Local Government

Eric Pickles has just announced that Frankie Maude’s reforms to Whitehall Pilgrims are to be recommended across all local government. Speaking as the first ever Cabinet minister to address the fringe Freedom Zone, Pickles highlighted a poster found in his department as an example of just why taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be going to unions:

“I don’t mind the idea, I like the tumble of politics. I even like idea of trade unions – my family were all trade unionists. But what they did, is they paid for it themselves.”

Fox joined in the fight, with a rousing bashing of the principle that the taxpayer should ever pick up the tab for a public sector worker not to do their job.The clock is ticking. It is the Pilgrims’ eleventh hour…

UPDATE:

Unions’ Pilgrims Spin Unravels, Again

Last the night the BBC website ran what was basically a press release from Mark Serwotka’s PCS union damning Francis Maude’s decision to wield the axe over Pilgrims:

“An official pointed to government figures which, he said, showed the subsidy raises money. For every £1 spent on full-time trade union officials negotiating with employers, resolving grievances and dealing with health and safety issues, the official said, between £3 and £9 was generated for the wider economy.”

It turns out these “government figures” are from 2007, under Gordon’s Labour government. What a surprise they backed taxpayer cash being spent on unions.

Guido hears that the Beeb are getting it in the neck from the Cabinet Office for failing to check this out. Union spin unravels once again…

Friday, October 5, 2012

Victory: Full Time Whitehall Pilgrims Defeated
Guido Campaign Success as Frankie Wields the Axe

It is eighteen months since Guido launched his campaign against Pilgrims – taxpayer-funded trade union officials – and tonight victory of sorts can be be declared. During his speech to Tory party conference on Monday, Frankie Maude will announce a series of radical new measures which mean the Whitehall versions of Jane Pilgrim, Hank Roberts and Julie Davies will no longer be able to rip off the taxpayer for the unions’ benefit. Civil servants will now be banned from spending more than half their time on trade union work, with a new maximum of 0.1% of a departmental budget can now be spent on union representation. Paid time off for union activities has also been scrapped meaning we will no longer be picking up the tab for PCS conferences. Any special circumstances will have to be signed off at Ministerial level and details published online. The unions are furious, but there’s not much they can do to fight transparency.

Credit should be given to the sterling work done by the Trade Union Reform Campaign in helping to expose Pilgrims. TURC chairman Aidan Burley tells Guido:

“These welcome reforms are long over-due, and it speaks volumes that a Labour government bankrolled by the Unions never got round to even ensuring that Government Departments kept basic records of time employees spent on working for trade unions.”

While TURC CEO Mark Clarke adds:

“It is great news that Francis Maude is calling time on the wasteful practice of Pilgrims in central government. But this will still leave thousands of Pilgrims working in schools, hospitals and local government. That means nurses not nursing and teachers not teaching. The Maude reforms need to be extended across the whole public sector so we end this abuse once and for all.”

A very pleasing start, that needs to be enforced across the public sector..

The entire story of how Guido and co beat the Pilgrims, ranging from the outing of Jane Pilgrim to parties with Pickles and Frankie Maude’s consultation, can be seen here.

UPDATE: The Taxpayers’ Alliance data was at the heart of this fight, they’ve also responded to the news:

“This move to reduce facility time in Whitehall will save taxpayers millions of pounds, which will be most welcome at a time when hard-pressed families across the UK are having to tighten their belts.However, similar action is also going to be required elsewhere in the public sector. Only then will the days of nurses and council staff working full-time for the union instead of doing the job for which they are paid be consigned to history.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Trade Union Reform Campaign Consultation Submission

The Trade Union Reform Campaign have outlined the opposition to taxpayer funding of trade unions for the Cabinet Office consultation that ends today.

Although the inquiry had a very narrow remit of looking into publicly funded union activity specifically within Whitehall, the hope is that a trickle down effect will spread from central government across the public sector:

Where it is expected that full-time union activity is set to be banned, TURC are calling for full outlawing of the ridiculous practice:

“In the consultation document it is suggested that the Government end the practice of employing full time Trade Union Representatives. However, this implies that the Government might be content to see people spending 50% of their time on paid union duties.

Recently Rachel Reeves MP (Lab, Leeds West), asked what the practical difference was between one person spending all their time on Union work and two people spending 50% of their time. The cost to the  taxpayer is the same and we risk going round in circles. Abolition represents best value for the taxpayer and avoids the risk of the time they take creeping up again once the issue is out of the headlines. We maintain that abolition removes any ambiguity and polling data suggests 86% of the public share our view.”

Despite all the voodoo economics and spin from the TUC this is a moral issue. Why should the taxpayer pick up the tab to pay for public sector unions to lobby for more taxpayers’ money?


Seen Elsewhere

Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC
No.10 Ambushed by EU Prosperity Tax | Times
10 Years of Guido | Iain Dale


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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