Taxpayers Spend Millions Funding Welsh Trade Union Pilgrims

Welsh trade union ‘pilgrims’ are costing the taxpayer more than £2 million per year, an investigation reveals today. Public sector workers on ‘facilities time’ (paid time-off taken by trade union officers to carry out union duties) are employed by almost every one of the 38 public bodies in Wales. Around 80 such officers across Wales are employed full-time, working a total of 2,978 hours per week – at a cost of approximately £2.1 million a year. An additional 153 officers are employed on a part-time basis to carry out trade union roles. If each member of part time staff worked just one day a week on union ‘facilities time’ it would cost the taxpayer an additional £1.03 million. Shadow Local Government Secretary and Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders said:

“The taxpayer shouldn’t be picking up the tab for Trade Union duties – that’s what their subscriptions are for. Across Wales, public bodies are taking difficult decisions about staffing and funding in order to protect vital services. Meanwhile, millions of pounds in vital funds are being diverted away from the frontline to subsidise the political work of the unions. It’s a national scandal.”

The investigation – carried out under the Freedom of Information Act by the Welsh Conservatives – comes after Guido reported a Taxpayers’ Alliance study revealing the national bill for pilgrims now stands at more than £15 million. David Cameron’s government began a crackdown on pilgrims, Theresa May should finish the job…




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