Call to cut Leeds City Council’s trade union spending

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Leeds City Council is facing calls to cut the £400,000 it currently spends supporting trade union activities.

The funding is allocated for union representatives to carry out their duties and receive training.

The council spends £417,000 supporting the work of 15 trade union convenors, and Coun Alan Lamb (Con Wetherby) is calling for the spending to be reviewed.

He said: “I note that as part of the Government’s transparency agenda they are also urging councils to review the amounts they spend on trade unions. I hope that in Leeds the current administration take heed of the noises coming from government and look at this area of spend as a matter of urgency.”

A council spokeswoman said: “All organisations that employ over a certain number of staff have a statutory duty to provide reasonable time off for trade union reps to carry out their union duties and undergo training.

“The benefits of having a small number of representatives for this size of organisation is that managers and headteachers have a single point of contact for dealing with staff issues and concerns, which offers a more cost effective approach.”