A NEW call has been made to end the practice of paying full-time union officers working for Kirklees Council.
Tories on the council say that the policy of paying the 20 officials is costing taxpayers about £¾m.
And deputy group leader Clr David Hall, indicated that as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review agreed to in the council’s Budget proposals, it is an area in which savings should be made.
Clr Hall said: “There are many areas in which savings will have to be identified, and the funding of trade unions was one area which the Conservatives have continually flagged up as being unacceptable to local residents.
“The council ‘employs’ 20.5 Full Time Equivalent union officials by giving them time off to undertake union related duties, effectively an annual cost of £¾m to the local council taxpayer.
“The media recently highlighted the cost of councillors and holding elections, and it is right to bring such things into the public domain for debate.
“The cost of £¾m is not insignificant, and it begs the question why the council employs 20+ staff who don’t do any work for the council?
“I have always accepted that unions do a valuable job in representing council employees and that they have a role to play. But I don’t see why our residents should be employing them. The unions through their own funds should be able to pay for their own staff.”
Unions include the NUT, NASUWT, ATL, UNITE, UNISON, and the GMB.