Greenwich Labour choose unions over schools

In a reform to school funding to be agreed by Greenwich Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday night, the Labour Councillors will almost certainly nod through a decision to allocate thousands of pounds, which should be going to schools, to Trade Unions instead. 

The proposals (in a report entitled “School Funding Reforms 2013-14) were recommended by the Greenwich Schools Forum, which has Five Labour Councillors as members. 

Hidden in the Appendices at the back of the report, is a recommendation entitled ‘Trade unions recompense’ which allows the local authority (Greenwich Council) to collect money from schools for trade union activities.  This level is set at £3 per pupil in primary schools and £6 per pupil in secondary schools. 

In practical terms this means schools like Crown Woods will be paying £7,014 for trade unions, and other secondary schools a similar amount.  Greenwich Conservatives estimate this will cost primary schools and secondary schools around £120,000 in total (about £60,000 for each sector). This is money that could be kept in the school budget and directly used towards improving education.

Cllr Adam Thomas, who sits on the Royal Borough’s Children & Young People Scrutiny Panel, said “This is a disgraceful waste of taxpayers’ money.  We pay taxes to help children receive a good education, but the Labour Party in Greenwich are siphoning this off so that unions can spend more money supporting Labour candidates nationally and locally.  In my opinion, this decision lays bare Labour’s priorities – when it comes to looking after young people in this borough, they will always put their own selfish interests ahead of their welfare and education.”