To ask Her Majesty's Government (a) how many paid staff in the Northern Ireland Office are seconded to trade unions and what facilities are made available to them; (b) in the latest year available, what is the number of days other staff spend on trade union activity or at conferences; and (c) what are the annual costs of trade union activity in the department. [HL5802]
The Northern Ireland Office 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. The department does not employ any other staff who work as trade union officials. Facility time for trade union members is managed by line managers and details are not available.