Councils 'paid £300,000 for union-related work'
FIGURES released by a campaign group show more than £300,000 was spent by Derbyshire councils on paying staff while they were doing union work.
The TaxPayers' Alliance published figures for all local authorities in the country.
It showed that, during 2011-2012, the time spent by Derby City Council staff on Unison work cost the equivalent of employing five full time staff – £144,266.
The cost of paying staff while they carried out union work for GMB and Unite was almost a further £58,000.
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At Derbyshire County Council, work for seven different unions added up to more than £100,000.
Matthew Sinclair, from the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is simply wrong that taxpayers are seeing their money used to pay thousands of trade union activists, who organise strikes which disrupt the services they rely on and pay for handsomely. The Government needs, at least, to extend the proposed reforms to the entire public sector and cut this scandalous subsidy."
But Moz Greenshields, of Unison's Derby branch, said: "Unison staff don't cost the taxpayer anything – they're paid out of branch funds and employed directly by the branch.
"Unison representatives, along with other representatives, save employers up and down the country – including in Derby – thousands of pounds per year through corporate and collective negotiations, legal advice and so on."
And Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: "To suggest that trade unions are being subsidised by the taxpayer is misleading."