Newham Council second top in country for union salaries

Newham Council has been revealed to be the second biggest spender in the country on the wages of full-time union officials.

According to data provided under the Freedom of Information Act, the council’s salary bill during 2010/11 was �380,562, second only to Sheffield with �504,585.

A Newham Council spokesman said: “Recognised trade unions play an important part in collectively representing our workforce.

“The council is engaged in a major cost reduction programme, which involves negotiating with our trade unions on an ongoing basis.

“Unlike others, we work with trade unions rather than seeking to attack them.”

The survey found that Newham Council paid its nine full-time officials an average of �42,284.66, well above the corresponding figure of �28,032.50 paid by Sheffield Council to its 18 representatives.

A total of 319 out of 429 councils replied to the data request under the Freedom of Information Act, 132 of which pay full-time union officials.

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The total salary bill for full-time union officials from the council respondents came to �35 million in 2010/11, plus a further �2 million for providing unions with additional resources.

Grant Shapps, minister for Local Government, said: “These figures reveal how over the past decade Labour stuffed Town Halls full of compliant union barons who are sucking money away from vital services while at the same time planning politically motivated propaganda against spending cuts.”