Pilgrims are on the agenda in the People’s Republic of Lambeth tonight. The Red Council has been dodging Pilgrim FoIs for six months, but was finally forced to reveal that their annual bung to the unions costs Lambeth taxpayers over half a million quid a year – ten times that in neighbouring Wandsworth. Guess who doesn’t run that council.
The Tories have put down a motion against the £317,517 a year that is spent on 9.7 full time equivalent Pilgrims representing the triumvirate of Unison, GMB, and Unite. Another £141,411 is spent to support 2.6 full time equivalent Pilgrims from the “teaching” unions – principally the NUT and NASUWT. Lambeth Labour have gone into full bulldozer mode. Have a look at the wrecking amendment to Motion 7 here. They amend:
“Council is grateful that these costs have now been disclosed. However,members are appalled that in a time of budget reductions and austerity in the public sector Lambeth Council is paying £503,548 a year to subsidise trade union officials.”
“Council is grateful that these costs have now been disclosed. However, members recognise that in a time of budget reductions and austerity in the public sector paying trade union officials is a cost effective way to deal with industrial relations in the workplace. Massive cuts, too far too fast, forced on Lambeth by the government have resulted in unprecedented staff changes and restructurings where unions play an important role in scrutinising job plans, making amendments and supporting individual members through life changing decisions. They also perform excellent work on health and safety and basic skills training at minimal cost to council.”