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Trade Unions

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many days staff of his Department spent on trade union activity in the latest year for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of such activity in that year. (325499)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has one full-time member of staff seconded as a full-time trade union official for the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA). This official is provided with full-time administrative support. The cost of running this office in 2008-09, including staff costs, was £65,669.09.

Other members of staff throughout the Department are allowed facility time on an ad-hoc basis representing, NIPSA, First Division Association and the Public and Commercial Service Union. Facility time for trade union representatives is delegated to local Line Management. We do not hold central records of facility time for 2009. Central recording of facility time was introduced on 1 January 2010.