Blackburn with Darwen Council chief defends £94k spend on unions

BLACKBURN with Darwen council leader Kate Hollern has hit back at her Tory opposite number’s call for the borough to axe its £94,000 a year budget for supported town hall union representatives.

Mike Lee said the cash should be used to prevent a proposed 50 per cent cut in the number of school crossing patrols.

The opposition leader said the unions should pay for their own three reps and their offices, which would more than cover the proposed £75,000 saving over two years from halving the number of lollipop men and women.

Coun Hollern said: “Our employees’ and their unions continue to help the council through what is the most difficult time we have ever faced. They ensure that staff, our most valuable asset, are able to have a greater voice and influence.

“None of the options we are proposing are ones we want to do. Given that this government is slashing our funding even more than we feared, we are asking each service area to contribute to closing the £30million gap.”

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10:23am Thu 24 Jan 13

A Darener says...

If I wished to be a union member I would join a union. I do NOT want my council tax to be used to subsidise an organisation I am not part of. Union members should pay for their own representation.
If I wished to be a union member I would join a union. I do NOT want my council tax to be used to subsidise an organisation I am not part of. Union members should pay for their own representation. A Darener

10:39am Thu 24 Jan 13

happycyclist says...

Bizarre. There is no justification for the Council employing union reps. And I'm very pro trade unions.
Bizarre. There is no justification for the Council employing union reps. And I'm very pro trade unions. happycyclist

10:57am Thu 24 Jan 13

vicn1956 says...

Politicians using public money to fund their allies. Who would have thought it?
Still, come the next election thousands will vote them back in!
Politicians using public money to fund their allies. Who would have thought it? Still, come the next election thousands will vote them back in! vicn1956

11:18am Thu 24 Jan 13

midas says...

How much time do the three reps spend on union business? Presumably they were each initially employed for a specific job. Do they still do that job or, once elected to be a Union Rep, does someone else have to cover their "proper" job?
.
Do the non unionised staff have a "voice and influence" or do you have to be in the union?
How much time do the three reps spend on union business? Presumably they were each initially employed for a specific job. Do they still do that job or, once elected to be a Union Rep, does someone else have to cover their "proper" job? . Do the non unionised staff have a "voice and influence" or do you have to be in the union? midas

11:39am Thu 24 Jan 13

clickhere says...

A dodgy use of public money, particularly in the current financial situation. Is it one of those Ponzi schemes? The unions fund the Labour party; the resulting Labour politicians fund union reps in the town hall, Then sack lollipop persons to save the same amount they are spending on Union reps..
Meanwhile our recently elected (and funded by the Unions) Labour Police Crime Commissioner is under IPCC investigation of his dodgy expenses, the facts of which he has admitted. This has not stopped him now inserting his Labour mates and fellow travellers in to well paid sinecures without any publicly advertised selection procedure.
Another example of the Conservatives (just as the Labour party before them) not thinking through the consequences of the their actions. For it was Camerons ‘big idea’ to have PCC’s. We have gone from a reasonably semi independent, warts and all, Police Authority to a politically based, jobs for the boys, more Masonic like than the Masons, senior management of our supposed independent Police force, topped off a union backed mediocre Labour politian who may yet turn out to be required to resign by the IPCC. If the allegations are proved to be correct..
Just the sort of people you need to run you Police force.
Of course Chair Kate Hollern's Police and Crime Panel, has oked all the jobs for the boys, so that's alright then. More politians noses in the trough.
A dodgy use of public money, particularly in the current financial situation. Is it one of those Ponzi schemes? The unions fund the Labour party; the resulting Labour politicians fund union reps in the town hall, Then sack lollipop persons to save the same amount they are spending on Union reps.. Meanwhile our recently elected (and funded by the Unions) Labour Police Crime Commissioner is under IPCC investigation of his dodgy expenses, the facts of which he has admitted. This has not stopped him now inserting his Labour mates and fellow travellers in to well paid sinecures without any publicly advertised selection procedure. Another example of the Conservatives (just as the Labour party before them) not thinking through the consequences of the their actions. For it was Camerons ‘big idea’ to have PCC’s. We have gone from a reasonably semi independent, warts and all, Police Authority to a politically based, jobs for the boys, more Masonic like than the Masons, senior management of our supposed independent Police force, topped off a union backed mediocre Labour politian who may yet turn out to be required to resign by the IPCC. If the allegations are proved to be correct.. Just the sort of people you need to run you Police force. Of course Chair Kate Hollern's Police and Crime Panel, has oked all the jobs for the boys, so that's alright then. More politians noses in the trough. clickhere

11:56am Thu 24 Jan 13

jack daniels says...

clickhere wrote:
A dodgy use of public money, particularly in the current financial situation. Is it one of those Ponzi schemes? The unions fund the Labour party; the resulting Labour politicians fund union reps in the town hall, Then sack lollipop persons to save the same amount they are spending on Union reps..
Meanwhile our recently elected (and funded by the Unions) Labour Police Crime Commissioner is under IPCC investigation of his dodgy expenses, the facts of which he has admitted. This has not stopped him now inserting his Labour mates and fellow travellers in to well paid sinecures without any publicly advertised selection procedure.
Another example of the Conservatives (just as the Labour party before them) not thinking through the consequences of the their actions. For it was Camerons ‘big idea’ to have PCC’s. We have gone from a reasonably semi independent, warts and all, Police Authority to a politically based, jobs for the boys, more Masonic like than the Masons, senior management of our supposed independent Police force, topped off a union backed mediocre Labour politian who may yet turn out to be required to resign by the IPCC. If the allegations are proved to be correct..
Just the sort of people you need to run you Police force.
Of course Chair Kate Hollern's Police and Crime Panel, has oked all the jobs for the boys, so that's alright then. More politians noses in the trough.
As somebody else pointed out, Cllr Lees had a chance to sort out the Unison issue when they where in power, yet he has only now brought this up to help smoke screen the £30,000,000 gap created by HIS government.
[quote][p][bold]clickhere[/bold] wrote: A dodgy use of public money, particularly in the current financial situation. Is it one of those Ponzi schemes? The unions fund the Labour party; the resulting Labour politicians fund union reps in the town hall, Then sack lollipop persons to save the same amount they are spending on Union reps.. Meanwhile our recently elected (and funded by the Unions) Labour Police Crime Commissioner is under IPCC investigation of his dodgy expenses, the facts of which he has admitted. This has not stopped him now inserting his Labour mates and fellow travellers in to well paid sinecures without any publicly advertised selection procedure. Another example of the Conservatives (just as the Labour party before them) not thinking through the consequences of the their actions. For it was Camerons ‘big idea’ to have PCC’s. We have gone from a reasonably semi independent, warts and all, Police Authority to a politically based, jobs for the boys, more Masonic like than the Masons, senior management of our supposed independent Police force, topped off a union backed mediocre Labour politian who may yet turn out to be required to resign by the IPCC. If the allegations are proved to be correct.. Just the sort of people you need to run you Police force. Of course Chair Kate Hollern's Police and Crime Panel, has oked all the jobs for the boys, so that's alright then. More politians noses in the trough.[/p][/quote]As somebody else pointed out, Cllr Lees had a chance to sort out the Unison issue when they where in power, yet he has only now brought this up to help smoke screen the £30,000,000 gap created by HIS government. jack daniels

12:01pm Thu 24 Jan 13

jack daniels says...

With fewer staff and more and more residents of Blackburn/Darwen; we will see the work load of the staff reach silly levels. The increase in stress for both the highly trained and dedicated front line staff (responding to OUR needs), and the managers trying to hit targets, is going to result in more sick leave and more cases of bullying.

There has never been a more inportant time for a union in the council than now.
With fewer staff and more and more residents of Blackburn/Darwen; we will see the work load of the staff reach silly levels. The increase in stress for both the highly trained and dedicated front line staff (responding to OUR needs), and the managers trying to hit targets, is going to result in more sick leave and more cases of bullying. There has never been a more inportant time for a union in the council than now. jack daniels

1:00pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Bootneck says...

I do not agree that my council tax helps pay for union fat cats to sit on their backsides at the expense of the members they are supposed to protect ! They have sufficient funds to pay for their own offices and expenses !
I do not agree that my council tax helps pay for union fat cats to sit on their backsides at the expense of the members they are supposed to protect ! They have sufficient funds to pay for their own offices and expenses ! Bootneck

1:24pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Commenting says...

A union rep should represent and liase with their members outside of business hours. This facility should be paid for by the unions themselves.
I speak as trade union member for more than 40 years.
A union rep should represent and liase with their members outside of business hours. This facility should be paid for by the unions themselves. I speak as trade union member for more than 40 years. Commenting

1:39pm Thu 24 Jan 13

A Darener says...

I used to work at the ROF. As far as I am aware they allowed union reps to attend meetings during work hours. They were paid their usual salary during these meetings. But received no extra from the company for carrying out their union duties. So why should the council act differently? Allow the reps to attend meetings but at no extra cost to the council tax payers.
I used to work at the ROF. As far as I am aware they allowed union reps to attend meetings during work hours. They were paid their usual salary during these meetings. But received no extra from the company for carrying out their union duties. So why should the council act differently? Allow the reps to attend meetings but at no extra cost to the council tax payers. A Darener

4:20pm Thu 24 Jan 13

jack daniels says...

Behind all this political war of words are a few good people who just came into work, helped a few people that really needed it, got paid, went back home and fed/clothed/housed their familes.

For them to be suddenly used as a political pin-ball is disgraceful.

Shame on you Cllr Lees, shame on you!
Behind all this political war of words are a few good people who just came into work, helped a few people that really needed it, got paid, went back home and fed/clothed/housed their familes. For them to be suddenly used as a political pin-ball is disgraceful. Shame on you Cllr Lees, shame on you! jack daniels

5:45pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Joseph Yossarian says...

A Darener wrote:
I used to work at the ROF. As far as I am aware they allowed union reps to attend meetings during work hours. They were paid their usual salary during these meetings. But received no extra from the company for carrying out their union duties. So why should the council act differently? Allow the reps to attend meetings but at no extra cost to the council tax payers.
If they are attending union meetings on Council times then it is a cost to the taxpayers.
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: I used to work at the ROF. As far as I am aware they allowed union reps to attend meetings during work hours. They were paid their usual salary during these meetings. But received no extra from the company for carrying out their union duties. So why should the council act differently? Allow the reps to attend meetings but at no extra cost to the council tax payers.[/p][/quote]If they are attending union meetings on Council times then it is a cost to the taxpayers. Joseph Yossarian

5:47pm Thu 24 Jan 13

A Darener says...

Joseph Yossarian wrote:
A Darener wrote:
I used to work at the ROF. As far as I am aware they allowed union reps to attend meetings during work hours. They were paid their usual salary during these meetings. But received no extra from the company for carrying out their union duties. So why should the council act differently? Allow the reps to attend meetings but at no extra cost to the council tax payers.
If they are attending union meetings on Council times then it is a cost to the taxpayers.
Yes but not £94000 extra!
[quote][p][bold]Joseph Yossarian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: I used to work at the ROF. As far as I am aware they allowed union reps to attend meetings during work hours. They were paid their usual salary during these meetings. But received no extra from the company for carrying out their union duties. So why should the council act differently? Allow the reps to attend meetings but at no extra cost to the council tax payers.[/p][/quote]If they are attending union meetings on Council times then it is a cost to the taxpayers.[/p][/quote]Yes but not £94000 extra! A Darener

9:32pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Sister Wendy says...

A colleague at my place of work is a union rep and she doesn't have an office...
£94,000 ÷ 3 people = over £31,500 each...maybe I should change my job!!! Boy are we in the wrong profession?
A colleague at my place of work is a union rep and she doesn't have an office... £94,000 ÷ 3 people = over £31,500 each...maybe I should change my job!!! Boy are we in the wrong profession? Sister Wendy

9:33pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Sister Wendy says...

Sorry...just under £31,500 each!
Sorry...just under £31,500 each! Sister Wendy

9:47pm Thu 24 Jan 13

DEO VOLENTE says...

The unions bankroll "New Labour" we must not forget that. We must also never forget that it is "New Labour" who are to blame for the demise of Blackburn and the U.K. as a whole. "New Labour" politically disorientated policies have bankrupt the U.K. both economically and morally." New Labour" politically correct left wing claptrap has ruined the town of Blackburn and the U.K. as a whole. One only has to look at the town of Blackburn and the U.K. to see that this is true. As for the comments made in this story my retort is "too silly for words" Vote with your feet freinds and your wallets abandon "New Labour" Blackburn. There is something rotten at the heart of Denmark is there not? Oh what a Horlicks! Never, Never,Never,Never vote for or trust "New Labour" again. For the record who is Katey Hollerer? Who indeed?

Deus vobiscum
The unions bankroll "New Labour" we must not forget that. We must also never forget that it is "New Labour" who are to blame for the demise of Blackburn and the U.K. as a whole. "New Labour" politically disorientated policies have bankrupt the U.K. both economically and morally." New Labour" politically correct left wing claptrap has ruined the town of Blackburn and the U.K. as a whole. One only has to look at the town of Blackburn and the U.K. to see that this is true. As for the comments made in this story my retort is "too silly for words" Vote with your feet freinds and your wallets abandon "New Labour" Blackburn. There is something rotten at the heart of Denmark is there not? Oh what a Horlicks! Never, Never,Never,Never vote for or trust "New Labour" again. For the record who is Katey Hollerer? Who indeed? Deus vobiscum DEO VOLENTE

10:26pm Thu 24 Jan 13

RamMHW says...

The union reps are not paid extra, they are paid their usual salary and do attend meetings. Sometimes they are in their own time and no extra is paid. it would not be possible to do this all in their own time as this would mean managers and HR staff attending out of hours meetings too, not doubt wanting toil or overtime as well as the member of staff that needed union support. Tthe amount of time per union rep is not a huge amount of time. There are 3 dedicated reps for the whole of the council and school staff that attend meetings and represent all members in negotiations. They are paid their usual salary for doing this, it does not change when they become a rep. All companies, including private ones, allow union reps facillities time to attend meetings and represent their employees. You don't see people that aren't in unions declining the pay rises when they are negotiated, they are quite happy to take them alongside the union members. Mr Lee also mentions the staff should have a pay freeze! There has been a pay freeze for years now and the staff all took 4 days unpaid leave to help save money - this is currently being voted on again to help save money and jobs. It is really annoying when people voice opinions on topics they know absolutely nothing about. Do your research first before you make unsubstantiated comments!
The union reps are not paid extra, they are paid their usual salary and do attend meetings. Sometimes they are in their own time and no extra is paid. it would not be possible to do this all in their own time as this would mean managers and HR staff attending out of hours meetings too, not doubt wanting toil or overtime as well as the member of staff that needed union support. Tthe amount of time per union rep is not a huge amount of time. There are 3 dedicated reps for the whole of the council and school staff that attend meetings and represent all members in negotiations. They are paid their usual salary for doing this, it does not change when they become a rep. All companies, including private ones, allow union reps facillities time to attend meetings and represent their employees. You don't see people that aren't in unions declining the pay rises when they are negotiated, they are quite happy to take them alongside the union members. Mr Lee also mentions the staff should have a pay freeze! There has been a pay freeze for years now and the staff all took 4 days unpaid leave to help save money - this is currently being voted on again to help save money and jobs. It is really annoying when people voice opinions on topics they know absolutely nothing about. Do your research first before you make unsubstantiated comments! RamMHW

10:35pm Thu 24 Jan 13

RamMHW says...

Councillor Hollern is clearly someone who not only cares about the residents, but also the staff. Lets remember the majorty of people working there are also residents!

None of these cuts are what anyone wanted, they have been forced upon the staff and the residents by the ConDems whilst they continue to take huge salaries and expenses that seem to be immune to the cuts.

This is their plan, have normal average people arguing amongst themselves so no one notices that they are still lining their own pockets and ensuring the rich dont suffer at all.

It doesnt take a genious to work out that a loss of 2% in benefits is going to hurt a lot more to people in the working classes than anything that has been done to the upper classes, indeed they have been given a lovely drop in their income tax. We are definately not in this together!! MPs ought to have to live on benefits for a least a month before they are allowed to become an MP and represent the public - should make them more in touch with the real work. It stinks that most of them will spend more on one meal than they expect an unemployed person to live on for a week.
Councillor Hollern is clearly someone who not only cares about the residents, but also the staff. Lets remember the majorty of people working there are also residents! None of these cuts are what anyone wanted, they have been forced upon the staff and the residents by the ConDems whilst they continue to take huge salaries and expenses that seem to be immune to the cuts. This is their plan, have normal average people arguing amongst themselves so no one notices that they are still lining their own pockets and ensuring the rich dont suffer at all. It doesnt take a genious to work out that a loss of 2% in benefits is going to hurt a lot more to people in the working classes than anything that has been done to the upper classes, indeed they have been given a lovely drop in their income tax. We are definately not in this together!! MPs ought to have to live on benefits for a least a month before they are allowed to become an MP and represent the public - should make them more in touch with the real work. It stinks that most of them will spend more on one meal than they expect an unemployed person to live on for a week. RamMHW

6:55am Fri 25 Jan 13

jack daniels says...

RamMHW wrote:
Councillor Hollern is clearly someone who not only cares about the residents, but also the staff. Lets remember the majorty of people working there are also residents!

None of these cuts are what anyone wanted, they have been forced upon the staff and the residents by the ConDems whilst they continue to take huge salaries and expenses that seem to be immune to the cuts.

This is their plan, have normal average people arguing amongst themselves so no one notices that they are still lining their own pockets and ensuring the rich dont suffer at all.

It doesnt take a genious to work out that a loss of 2% in benefits is going to hurt a lot more to people in the working classes than anything that has been done to the upper classes, indeed they have been given a lovely drop in their income tax. We are definately not in this together!! MPs ought to have to live on benefits for a least a month before they are allowed to become an MP and represent the public - should make them more in touch with the real work. It stinks that most of them will spend more on one meal than they expect an unemployed person to live on for a week.
I loved your post sent at 10.26, but I can't agree with your opinion about Kate.

She was instrumental in trying to get people sacked over a harmless PowerPoint photo, and has been instrumental in the privatisation of council services, that where first instigated by Sybil Taylor (especially the failed contract with capita)
.
She's also contributed to conducting council meetings behind closed doors, which many people found undemocratic.
[quote][p][bold]RamMHW[/bold] wrote: Councillor Hollern is clearly someone who not only cares about the residents, but also the staff. Lets remember the majorty of people working there are also residents! None of these cuts are what anyone wanted, they have been forced upon the staff and the residents by the ConDems whilst they continue to take huge salaries and expenses that seem to be immune to the cuts. This is their plan, have normal average people arguing amongst themselves so no one notices that they are still lining their own pockets and ensuring the rich dont suffer at all. It doesnt take a genious to work out that a loss of 2% in benefits is going to hurt a lot more to people in the working classes than anything that has been done to the upper classes, indeed they have been given a lovely drop in their income tax. We are definately not in this together!! MPs ought to have to live on benefits for a least a month before they are allowed to become an MP and represent the public - should make them more in touch with the real work. It stinks that most of them will spend more on one meal than they expect an unemployed person to live on for a week.[/p][/quote]I loved your post sent at 10.26, but I can't agree with your opinion about Kate. She was instrumental in trying to get people sacked over a harmless PowerPoint photo, and has been instrumental in the privatisation of council services, that where first instigated by Sybil Taylor (especially the failed contract with capita) . She's also contributed to conducting council meetings behind closed doors, which many people found undemocratic. jack daniels

7:52am Fri 25 Jan 13

A Darener says...

RamMHW wrote:
The union reps are not paid extra, they are paid their usual salary and do attend meetings. Sometimes they are in their own time and no extra is paid. it would not be possible to do this all in their own time as this would mean managers and HR staff attending out of hours meetings too, not doubt wanting toil or overtime as well as the member of staff that needed union support. Tthe amount of time per union rep is not a huge amount of time. There are 3 dedicated reps for the whole of the council and school staff that attend meetings and represent all members in negotiations. They are paid their usual salary for doing this, it does not change when they become a rep. All companies, including private ones, allow union reps facillities time to attend meetings and represent their employees. You don't see people that aren't in unions declining the pay rises when they are negotiated, they are quite happy to take them alongside the union members. Mr Lee also mentions the staff should have a pay freeze! There has been a pay freeze for years now and the staff all took 4 days unpaid leave to help save money - this is currently being voted on again to help save money and jobs. It is really annoying when people voice opinions on topics they know absolutely nothing about. Do your research first before you make unsubstantiated comments!
So, pardon my ignorance! But, what is the £94000 being quoted spent on?
[quote][p][bold]RamMHW[/bold] wrote: The union reps are not paid extra, they are paid their usual salary and do attend meetings. Sometimes they are in their own time and no extra is paid. it would not be possible to do this all in their own time as this would mean managers and HR staff attending out of hours meetings too, not doubt wanting toil or overtime as well as the member of staff that needed union support. Tthe amount of time per union rep is not a huge amount of time. There are 3 dedicated reps for the whole of the council and school staff that attend meetings and represent all members in negotiations. They are paid their usual salary for doing this, it does not change when they become a rep. All companies, including private ones, allow union reps facillities time to attend meetings and represent their employees. You don't see people that aren't in unions declining the pay rises when they are negotiated, they are quite happy to take them alongside the union members. Mr Lee also mentions the staff should have a pay freeze! There has been a pay freeze for years now and the staff all took 4 days unpaid leave to help save money - this is currently being voted on again to help save money and jobs. It is really annoying when people voice opinions on topics they know absolutely nothing about. Do your research first before you make unsubstantiated comments![/p][/quote]So, pardon my ignorance! But, what is the £94000 being quoted spent on? A Darener

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