Councils told to publish union costs

10 Nov 14
Ministers have told councils to ‘come clean’ about how much they are spending on staff working on trade union business.

The transparency code, which came into force last week, requires councils to publish details on the number of public sector staff who are union officials and the number who spend at least half of their working week on union duties. The code also requires them to name all trade unions represented in the local authority and a basic estimate of spending on unions.

Communities minister Eric Pickles said: ‘Trade union activities should be paid for by union subscription, not bankrolled by the taxpayer. Taxpayers have a right to know who much of their money is being spent on council workers to act as union officials rather than working on frontline services.

‘Greater power for local government must go hand in hand with greater local transparency and local accountability. Therefore it is only right we give council tax payers the data they need to play a bigger role in local democracy.’


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