Trade Union Funding

Alex Wild made this Freedom of Information request to North York Moors National Park Authority

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The request was successful.

Dear sirs,

I am writing to obtain information about the total amount of money paid to trade unions by your organisation, the amount of staff time spent on trade union duties and/or activities and the payment of subscriptions.

To outline my query as clearly as possible, I am requesting:

1. A list of trade unions which received payments from your organisation and the total amounts paid to each union for financial years a) 2011-12 and b) 2012-13. If it is not possible to list the amount paid to each union, please provide a total amount paid to all unions. Please do not include membership dues or salary costs. Please only include direct payments.

2. Please state:
a) Which trade unions your organisation provide staff time to work on trade union duties and / or activities (sometimes called ‘Trade Union facility time’) in i) 2011-12 and ii) 2012-13.

b) The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff that were provided for each trade union in i) 2011-12 and ii) 2012-13. For example, if a member of staff spends 2 days per week on union business, this is equal to 0.4 FTE.


a) Does your organisation provide the facility to deduct trade union subscriptions from staff salaries in the payroll process?

b) If so, for each union please state what your organisation charged for this service (whether as a fixed amount per employee or a percentage), and the total amount collected in:

i) 2011-12

ii) 2012-13

Please note that the guidelines issued by ACAS state that: “An employee who is a member of an independent trade union recognised by the employer in respect of that description of employee is to be permitted reasonable time off during working hours to take part in any trade union activity. An employee who is a member of an independent and recognised trade union is also permitted to take reasonable time off during working hours for the purposes of accessing the services of a Union Learning Representative (provided those services are services for which the Union Learning Representative is entitled to time off).”

If the information is not recorded, there is no way of ascertaining whether the time off provided is reasonable. I therefore do not expect the response that the organisation does not hold this information. If a formal record is not kept then I will accept a reasonable estimate.

If the response to any of the questions is ‘nil’ or you are unable to answer any of them, please continue to respond to the other questions

My preferred format to receive this information is electronically, but if that is not possible I will gladly accept letters at the address below.

I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this request as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Alex Wild

Irene Brannon, North York Moors National Park Authority

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wild

In response to your information request I attach the response from the
North York Moors National Park Authority


1.    The Authority contributed £595.59 in 2011/12 and £619.41 in 2012/13
to UNISON as the recognised trade union.  This payment is not made direct
to UNISON but is paid to North Yorkshire County Council towards funding of
a branch representative.

2.    The Authority allows time off for approved duties in relation to
UNISON, the time demands can vary from year to year. The Authority does
not operate a time recording system and does not have any mechanism for
estimating the full time equivalents.  Therefore, since, under Section 1
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, individuals are only entitled to
recorded information held by the authority, the Authority cannot create
the information simply in order to respond to the request. I have attached
an extract from the Authority’s Personnel Manual which details the
arrangements which we have in place.

3.    The Authority does provide a facility to deduct trade union
subscriptions from salaries using the payroll process; however, no charge
is made to UNISON for this service.


If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of the request or complaint
you have a right to request an internal review, and I attach a copy of the
Authority’s Customer Feedback form as an Internal Review will be
considered in accordance with Stage 2, or you may appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:


The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane



SK9 5AF.


Tel: 08456306060 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [1]


There is no charge for making an appeal.


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