Hank the Teaching "Pilgrim"

This is Hank Roberts. He’s a geography teacher at Copland School in Brent. Well sort of, that was before he became a “pilgrim”. A full-time union official, paid for by the taxpayer to do full-time union duties, rather than the front-line role he should be doing. The last figures that Guido could get his hands on showed that our Hank cost the school £53,000pa to have him on full-time release for his union activities.

The struggling school has to pay around £106,000 every year to three union officials not to teach. However the local authority only budgeted the school with £70,000 for this malarkey in 2009/10, and £78,000 in 2008/09. In the last two years, a school in one of the most deprived areas of the country has had to pick up a £64,000 shortfall in union funding, out of its already tight and struggling budget . It is feared that this annual shortfall could have been going on for as long as twenty years…

But it gets worse. Despite being paid to work for the brothers, it seems Hank has even grander ideas. He spent the summer term of 2008 as part of the “Wembley Park Action Group”, sitting up a tree to stop a City Academy being built.

This action resulted in him being convicted at Willesden County Court and fined what he called “a substantial sum of money”, believed to be around £3,000. All the way through this mess, the taxpayer was funding his activities, to the despair of his school and Brent Council.

Hank’s personally-aggrandising website states that he is the “Organising Secretary of UNIFY and a member of all three teacher unions” as well as being elected Senior Vice President (2011), National President (2012) of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Presumably taking more money from these positions…

Guido spoke to Hank earlier and he claims that from September he will be going down to three days a week on union activity. Which makes everything ok. There’s more to this one though. Complaints about Hank have been raised in the past, and fell on some very interesting deaf ears…




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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