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Trade Unions

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many days staff of his Department and its agencies spent on trade union activity in the latest year for which figures are available; and what recent estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of such activity. (320614)

Information about the number of days that staff in the Department and its agencies spent on trade union activity is not held centrally. To collect this information would incur disproportionate cost. It is not possible therefore to make an estimate of the cost of these activities.

Through our facilities agreement, the Department makes available certain facilities to the three recognised trades unions in order to conduct their business effectively.

The Department and trades unions place high value on fostering and maintaining good industrial relations. We work in partnership to achieve shared aims, objectives and outcomes. The granting of reasonable facilities and facility time by the Department make an important contribution to the success of the organisation.