FOI release

Trade unions and the Department for Education

An information request and disclosure relating to departmental staff involved in trade union activities.

Detail

  • Date requested: 02 August 2010
  • Publish date: 24 August 2010
  • Updated: 10 November 2010

Request

Can the department provide the following information:
 

  1. How much has been paid to trade unions in each year since 1997 (or the latest years that figures are available)? 
  2. The monetary value of facilities provided for use by trade unions in each year since 1997 (or the latest years that figures are available).
  3. How many paid manpower hours and days staffs have spent on trade-union-related duties and activities in each year since 1997 (or the latest years that figures are available); and the number of staff who have been given paid leave for trade-union-related duties and activities.
  4. The number of staff, the number of days and the number of hours staff have been given paid leave for in respect of undertaking trade-union-related duties and activities between 12 April 2010 and 7 May 2010.
  5. Details of any staff employed to support trade unions or liaise with trade unions.
  6. How many staff spent the equivalent of (a) five days or fewer, (b) five to 10 days, (c) 10 to 15 days, (d) 15 to 20 days, (e) 20 to 25 days and (f) 25 days or more on trade-union-related activities or duties while being paid salaries in each year since 1997 (or the latest years that figures are available)?

 

Release

The department does not give money to the trade unions it recognises - the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS); Prospect; and First Division Association.

In 2009-10 there was one full-time member of staff supporting the trade union secretary and three full-time members of staff who work and represent all three unions. For 2010-11 this resource has been reduced to three officials. In addition, a number of other lay officials carry out TU-related activities.

For 2009-10 these activities were capped at 60 per cent of their full time post and for 2010-11 this cap has been reduced to 40 per cent. The equivalent information for each year since 1997, and the monetary value of the facilities made available to them, could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Other civil servants who are union members may have spent time on trade union activities, but as with the work of the lay officials, these figures could only be provided at disproportionate cost.