Government is paying £68,000,000 bill for Union Reps

Auld-Yin

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#2
Agreed!

This has been going on in the NHS for years. It is how that fine upstanding ex-MP, Jim Devine survived. No way he could have held down a 'proper' job :)

Just to add that they are not paid at the lowest rate either and to add insult to injury, if they came from a section which attracted bonus payments, they retain entitlement to these bonuses even though they are not working towards earning those bonuses.
 
#3
Have you actually looked at what they are being paid to do? They are there to help the managers not to drop a bollock - at least that's the theory. If that £68 Million saves £100 Million worth of industrial action / tribunals resulting in ever larger awards - because the Civil Service are notoriously good at this kind of thing aren't they - then I'd say it's worth the cost.
 

Auld-Yin

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#5
Have you actually looked at what they are being paid to do? They are there to help the managers not to drop a bollock - at least that's the theory. If that £68 Million saves £100 Million worth of industrial action / tribunals resulting in ever larger awards - because the Civil Service are notoriously good at this kind of thing aren't they - then I'd say it's worth the cost.
So you are saying that Union Reps are not there to support their members, but to support the management decisions?

Actually you are right to an extent. The responsibilities for union reps go:
The Union
The Management
The Rep themselves
The Union member - very far down the food chain and just about inconsequential to what is going on!!!!

And yes, I was a union member but was not popular as I suggested that the union actually did what their members paid them for rather than what the Union demanded!
 
#6
Have you actually looked at what they are being paid to do? They are there to help the managers not to drop a bollock - at least that's the theory. If that £68 Million saves £100 Million worth of industrial action / tribunals resulting in ever larger awards - because the Civil Service are notoriously good at this kind of thing aren't they - then I'd say it's worth the cost.
Well what the fcuk are they then?

If they are 'Union Reps' (as described) then they should be paid for by their union members... end of, full stop and underlined several times.

If they are SMEs brought in to advise the managers on such matters, then surely they should be referred to in that light?
 

Wordsmith

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#7
Have you actually looked at what they are being paid to do? They are there to help the managers not to drop a bollock - at least that's the theory. If that £68 Million saves £100 Million worth of industrial action / tribunals resulting in ever larger awards - because the Civil Service are notoriously good at this kind of thing aren't they - then I'd say it's worth the cost.
So the 31 full time and 371 part time union reps employed at Transport for London are saving on industrial action are they? One of the biggest unions in TFL is the RMT run by that well known moderate Bob Crow. They're perpetually going on strike.

The other way of looking at it is that when Labour was in power it permitted a significant expansion of paid union reps as part of a pro-quid for the unions bankrolling the Labour party. And these self same full and part time union reps are now prominent in orchestrating resistance to the very necessary cuts in the bloated public sector.

If there is a need for full and part time union reps in the public sector, let the unions pay for them. I resent - big time - my taxes going to pay for this. I would rather the money was spent on additional policemen, nurses and soldiers at the coal face. £68 million pays for quite a few of those...

Wordsmith
 
#10
considering the high level of competence in management having situations dealt with before it goes to tribunal is probably worth the cost.
plus a nice tame union causes less problems than a union rep whose not in bed with management.
when these cretins **** up its expensive look at the shoe smith case. Somebody who actually knew what they had to do would have sucked it up and sacked her properly rather than letting her walk off with squillions.
 
#11
considering the high level of competence in management having situations dealt with before it goes to tribunal is probably worth the cost.
plus a nice tame union causes less problems than a union rep whose not in bed with management.
when these cretins **** up its expensive look at the shoe smith case. Somebody who actually knew what they had to do would have sucked it up and sacked her properly rather than letting her walk off with squillions.

Except that in the Shoesmith case the cretin was not her direct employer but the Secretary of State at the Department for Children Schools and Families, a certain Ed Balls MP.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

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#12
Union Reps (inc. Police Fed Reps) should be paid for out of the membership fees, not from the public purse or the employer if a privatised entity. If they didn't do the job expected of them by the membership, they'd be sacked by the membership. They'd soon sharpen their skills if that was the case. As they are employees of the organisation it's difficult to get shot of them and in my experience, too many of them are too far into bed with management and ignore complaints from the membership or at least try to dissuade members making complaints. The management don't want to get rid of people like that, as they serve a purpose and they have the legitimisation of position within a Union. This seriously weakens the employees ability to pursue an action against an employer. They are largely ****ing ineffective at local level, ignorant of employment laws and if they spent half as much time actually working as they do avoiding the activity, they'd spend less energy. And when you see what people like Bob Crow and the others at the top end of the Union scale actually earn, you seriously begin to lose faith in unions.
 
#14
So the government subsidises the Unions, and the Unions subsidise the Labour Party?

What's wrong with this picture?
 
#15
but if your such a crap manager that you have an angry and pissed off workforce having a tame useless union rep whose supposed to deal with the problems is a bargain:(.
much better than having to face a pissed off part time unpaid shop steward whose really****ed off and wants your head on a stick.
course having management that understood employment law and leadership in the public sector would be much better but that's never going to happen is it :(
 
#16
I was a Union Rep once upon a time on a large Supermarket Distribution site. I ran the branch acted as convenor and attended the H&S meetings and follow ups.
The key difference is this was in the private sector I never needed any more than one afternoon a week to do all that and it was with a branch with >300 members.

If I needed more than that then I used to fit it in after my normal job role very rarely needing to claim overtime for it (exceptional circumstances where I had to come in to represent one of the night shift at a Disc hearing).
Once a year I and my three subordinate officers would need 4 or 5 days to meet with the management to sort out the annual pay negotiation and any other changes to the site agreement.

Industrial relations on the site were A1 we never had a need for any action of any sort and a dialogue always existed. The senior managers door was always open if I needed to sort something out and he recognised the importance of having a strong employer/Trade Union relationship. Occasionally we would bang the table and things got a little heated but it was never personal and we always arrived at a solution.

Trade Union law (and the actual act escapes me at the moment) compels employers to grant reasonable time off for trade union officials to carry out their functions. The difference here is the Private Sector always knew the meaning of reasonable. The Public Sector took it as read they could have what they wanted when the wanted it. Management didn't give a shit as they never had a budget to work too nor have to explain.

During my time as a Union Rep I never lost sight of the fact that the protection of employment for the members was the most important function. The site was required to remain competitive in order to retain contracts which of course provided the jobs. This is the key difference between the Private and Public sector..
 
#17
The MoD has a union, how does that work then?
The civilian employees of the MoD have several unions. Their union reps work the same as any other rep. Think of the representatives as liaison officers. Alternatively think of those in the posts as on secondment. Plenty of secondments going about and the idea is to realise benefits for the Ministry.
 
#18
The MoD has a union, how does that work then?
Very well for the 80,000 odd MoD CS, all of whom are allowed to join unions. Not sure if the MoD Police are in that number and which union they would join, or the Defence Fire Service.
 
#19
The MoD Plod have their own version of the Police Federation & like HO forces have no right to strike.
 
#20
Union Reps can actually fall into two categories. Those employed by the Union and those employed by the authority they work for. Trade union directly employed Union officers (full time officers) are recruited through various means and are appointed to their position by the Union as their employer. They have a contract of employment the same as any other employee of any other employer and they carry out their work in line with the directives of their employer, the trade union which is controlled by a general secretary working under the policy set by the ruling council of that trade union. The union pays their salary.

Union reps employed by the authority they work for (lay representatives) are usually elected to their post by their peers for a set period of time, normally a year, sometimes two years and after that period of time must stand for re-election if they wish to continue in that post. Full time officers and lay reps carry out work that often is very similar but it depends on several factors about how much it overlaps. A lay rep is the man/or woman, on the ground, usually the branch secretary or chair of the branch and they would normally be expected to do the day to day branch admin and co-ordinate shop stewards etc. They represent their members at meetings of their local authority to negotiate local terms and conditions, oversee the health and safety of their members and they usually represent any member unfortunate enough to end up on a disciplinary hearing with their local authority. Their salary is paid by the authority they work for which is also where they will spend all of their time being an elected representative bar possibly a few minor instances.

Full time officers usually have several area's or branches to work in and must spread themselves accordingly. They will also have other duties within the union to be responsible for such as regional health and safety co-ordination, pay and bargaining for a particular sector or representation of members at industrial tribunals dealing with complex issues of employment law etc. The amount of work within the branches they cover will to a large degree depend on how good or bad, the lay reps are. Some lay reps will take to their duties like a duck to water and others will discover they are a little out of their depth and may need a lot of assistance from the full time officer. The full time officer will support the lay official to whatever extent is needed and in some instances, that may mean actually doing most of the lay reps work if the lay rep is a particularly inefficient or bad one.

Why do local authorities fund lay reps?

At a local level, it's actually a very efficient way of getting things done. Local authorities are mostly fairly large employers often employing several thousand people. By having a union organised workforce, there are usually good lines of communication that enable employers to negotiate clearly with representatives who have been elected by the workforce to be there for them. Agreed and established procedures are adhered to by both sides and everybody knows exactly where they stand and what is expected of them. Where problems may arise, the channels are there for effective communication and hopefully, agreement can be reached to resolve any differences that might occur. If agreement proves to be a difficult mountain to climb, the established procedures mean that there are several stages to exhaust before anything like strike action may be even considered.

In a local Council with a workforce of say, 5000 or 6000 people, there might be the equivalent of two or three full time posts. Most lay reps by the nature of wanting to do the work are from the poorer paid sections of the workforce. Some of them may even be part timers. I'm guessing but that probably adds up to a wage bill of maybe £70,000, £80,000 or £90,000 with on costs. Compare those kinds of figures with the monies spent on human resource staff or even the efficiency consultants that many local authorities like to employ, that's pretty small beer and extremely good value for the local authority!
 

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