Ken's Crony Crow Sues and Loses

PA is reporting that Bob Crow has lost his libel action against Boris:

“The general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) had complained about leaflets produced for Mr Johnson’s campaign for re-election in May. He said they meant that his policies, leadership of the RMT and association with Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Ken Livingstone, seriously damaged Mr Livingstone’s electoral prospects and caused grave harm to Londoners’ interests.

Mr Crow also claimed they meant that he was part of and supported a culture of political immorality involving broken promises, cronyism, scandals and waste. But Mr Justice Tugendhat, at the High Court, ruled today that the words complained of were not capable of being defamatory of the union leader.”

Quite…

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… 

UPDATE II:

Read: Pilgrim Consultation Document

“We are seeking to review and rebalance the amount of paid time off provided to undertake trade union duties, and to review the level, frequency and cost of providing paid time off for trade union activities. This consultation covers all types of trade union representatives but does not seek to change the statutory basis for these duties and activities. We also wish to review the use of  facilities by trade union representatives e.g. telephones, photocopying and use of office  accommodation, to ensure it is appropriate and represents value for money for the taxpayer.”

Rebalance? Repayment of the £36m unions siphoned from Whitehall budgets this year would be more appropriate. Either way it looks like the full time Pilgrims are doomed…

+ + + Cabinet Office Pilgrim Consultation Launches Now + + +

Mad Frankie Maude’s long-awaited consultation into the absurd degree in which the taxpayer funds union agitators in Whitehall is set to go live any minute. Developing…

UPDATE: For background on Guido’s 18-month campaign to get to this stage, see  a round up here.

UPDATE II: The taxpayer funded union’s lobbyists are preparing a barrage of submissions.

Whitehall Pilgrims Exposed £36 Million For Civil Service Union Time

Pilgrims are back on the agenda. Guido understands that the long awaited consultation into taxpayer-funded trade union officials will be announced next week. For the first time a clear picture of the extent to which unions fleece the taxpayer in Whitehall alone has been revealed.

248 civil servants have been identified who spend 100% of their paid time on union business. There are at least 6,800 civil servants who do part-time trade union work across the civil service.

And the grand total? The annual cost to the taxpayer is £36,000,000. It has been pointed out that this is the equivalent of the salary of over 900 nurses or the cost of over 10,000 primary school places.

A Whitehall source said:

“Francis Maude demanded that departments collect proper, accurate information on the numbers and costs of taxpayer-funded trade union pilgrims. This information was never available before and, unsurprisingly, initial estimates understated the case. No doubt Labour didn’t want to antagonise their union paymasters by monitoring union activity properly. It’s simply wrong that taxpayers are paying Civil Servants to spend years doing nothing but union activity instead of the jobs they are supposed to do.”

Not for long…

Pilgrim Progress

Pilgrim Progress – Pickles Forces Cash Transparency

From the first of next month it will be a legal requirement for councillors to declare payments from unions. If they lie it will be a criminal offence. Guido has a feeling that you’ll be surprised at the extent to which unions secretly bankroll Labour, even at a local level.

Department of Local Government sources stress the importance of this move to the ongoing fight against Pilgrims – taxpayer-funded trade union officials, who regular readers will remember Guido campaigning against. Given that councils vote on how many of these money wasting staff members there can be, it’s going to be interesting to see who is pulling the strings.

Other developments in the fight include:

“· Francis Maude will shortly be publishing a policy paper proposing to scale back so-called ‘facility time’ in the Civil Service back to private sector levels – rather than gold-plating legal requirements.
· The Department for Communities and Local Government will follow through in due course with guidance to councils, giving them legal assurance and practical help on how they can review and cut back both facility time and the provision of subsidies like free office facilities.
· In local government, these matters should be debated openly in Full Council – with councillors declaring any prejudicial interests, such as receiving payments in kind from unions at election time.”

The Cabinet Office have saying these moves are imminent for months, but Guido gets the impression gears are turning this morning…

Farron's Progress Offer

Guido couldn’t help but laugh at the news that Tim Farron has invited enemies-of-the-people Progress to the LibDem party conference. Farron has written Andrew Adonis, cc’ing the nations media:

“I have noted the moves from the GMB and others within the Labour Party to sideline Progress and force its members out of the party. This is a great shame. I do not mean to patronise you or your members by suggesting your response should be to join the Liberal Democrats… (but) we are also a party that is prepared to work with others for the good of the country…You and your members are welcome to join us and I’m sure the debate will be all the richer for it.”

Given that Progress are a bunch of right-wingers it’s hardly likely they would want to break bread with an old lefty like Farron. Maybe if he promised not to tell any jokes…

Labour General Secretary Breaks Strike Ranks With Leadership

Labour’s neutered General Secretary Iain McNicol seems to be breaking ranks from the party leadership and backing strikes. Yesterday he promised the GMB conference that Labour will be out on the streets in support of the next demonstration. The next planned action is the Unite bus drivers strikes during the Games. […]

+ READ MORE +

Union Turns on Blairites in Labour Bloodbath

The GMB Congress has descended into an even bigger farce than expected after it passed a motion to outlaw Blairite pressure group Progress from the Labour Party. In a frothing attack, the GMB slammed Progress for accepting the need for spending cuts, undermining Ken Livingstone’s campaign and briefing against Ed Miliband to the press.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Unionised Greedy Doctors Upsetting Medical Colleagues

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tories to Attack Pilgrims in Party Broadcast

Guido hears that tonight’s local election Tory Party Election Broadcast will have a direct pop at Pilgrims: specifically Ed Miliband’s council who pay some £186,877 for seven full-time taxpayer-funded trade union officials. Guido knows that Frankie Maude has had a tough couple of weeks, but he’d like to gently remind him about that promised consultation that has yet to materialise…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Len Says Jump

With the Labour Party already in a precarious financial position, overspending by some £1.7m last year, there is more bad news coming down the line. Their biggest donor Unite are agitating before their conference in June for which Left Futures have the agenda.[…]

+ READ MORE +

All In It Together

Unite assistant General Secretary Diana Holland is getting a lot of coverage today due to the ongoing chaos her union is threatening, not over the price of fuel but how much money already well paid drivers get to distribute it. What the TV news seem to be ignoring is that she is also the Treasurer of the Labour Party.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Trade Union Lawyers Have Previous For Empty Threats

As Guido reported yesterday, Bob Crow has sent a laughable legal threat to the Boris campaign. He used the trade union ambulance chasers Thompsons to sabre rattle, but if their past form is anything to go by, the Mayor shouldn’t be too worried.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Ken and Bob Show

In the madness of yesterday Guido missed Bob Crow’s hilarious threat to sue Boris for associating him with Ken. Nice try Bob. Things must be getting really toxic for Ken. Something tells Guido this one won’t be reaching a court room.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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