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Trade Union Spend

Requested on
Tue 2nd August, 2011
FOI 1402
Information provided


I am writing to obtain information about the total amount of money paid to trade unions by your organisation and the amount of staff time spent on trade union activities

To outline my query as clearly as possible, I am requesting:

1. The total amount of money paid to all trade unions for financial periods a) 2009-10 and b) 2010-11 broken down by trade union.

2. For each trade union for which it applies, please provide the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff working for the union (this is sometimes called ‘Trade Union facility time’) in a) 2009-10 and b) 2010-11

Please note that I will not accept any refusal to provide this information on the grounds that it is not recorded. The guidelines issued by ACAS state that “An employee who is a member of an independent trade union recognised by the employer in respect of that description of employee is to be permitted reasonable time off during working hours to take part in any trade union activity. An employee who is a member of an independent and recognised trade union is also permitted to take reasonable time off during working hours for the purposes of accessing the services of a Union Learning Representative (provided those services are services for which the Union Learning Representative is entitled to time off).” – If the information is not recorded, it cannot be possible to ascertain whether time-off provided is reasonable. If a formal record is not kept then I will accept a reasonable internal estimate.


Following the above information request I am pleased to provide the following information:

1 - Money paid to Trade Unions:
2009/10    Unison £22,968.23
                 GMB £0
                 Total £22,968.23

2010/11    Unison £14,660.79
                 GMB £1,091
                 Total £15,751.79
These exclude all staff contribution subscriptions which are paid by staff rather than the council.
2 - FTE Union Staff:
We have one Trade Union Capacity Development Officer who works 13.5 hours per week for Unison.
We also have 4 stewards who carry out union duties for Unison as part of their wider job role, however the hours they work as stewards are not laid down in their job descriptions.