So we’ve pilgrims amongst the teachers too, eh?

The 58-year-old was released full-time from teaching duties in 2000 for union activities, while still picking up her £35,000 a year pay from the local authority – totalling almost £500,000.

I’ve no problem at all with there being unions or union reps. But I do rather expect the union members to pay their own reps, not the taxpayer.

How naive, eh?

19 thoughts on “So we’ve pilgrims amongst the teachers too, eh?”

  1. I often wondered about the Union limits. If (say) an NUT advisor is paid by the public sector, not by the Union, aren’t they then obliged to work on behalf of any teacher, not just NUT members ? How can working just for NUT members be justified if the NUT contributes nothing ?

  2. If her pay is £35k then on top of that taxpayers are picking up the 20+%-of-salary “employer” pension contribution and NI “employers” contribution, of course. Nearer £50k a year, then. Seems unlikely a 58 year-old teacher would be on £35k including those amounts.

    Plus, presumably, the costs of having a teacher do the job she might otherwise have done.

  3. £35k per year to remove a union rep from contaminatiing children’s minds? A bargain, I think. Shooting would be better still, but at least she’s out of the classroom. Shame this appears to be an isolated case.

  4. The salary-age combination at least suggests that one of the lower-performing ejcation production units has been removed from the meme pool.

  5. Even that old leftie FDR seems too have got the point you’ve missed, Tim.
    Public services are largely monopolistic. (Think teaching qualification, policeman’s badge.) So any public sector union is an attempt to exploit monopoly power in a conspiracy against the taxpayer.

  6. bif has it: unions for govt employees should be banned. Other unions just need to be under the law of the land, which is the point on which Mrs T succeeded.

    Mind you, you’d still need some mechanism for protecting the individual govt employee who finds himself under the authority of someone else who is, in the party of the first part’s opinion, misbehaving. It should be possible to devise a far superior mechanism than allowing horrible humans to act out their character defects on the public penny.

  7. formertory

    It’s a disturbing commonplace to claim these characters cost their own salary PLUS the salary of their replacement, but it still isn’t true. They only cost their own salary. (One job, two people. Only one is redundant.)

    On the other hand, govt. employees do only cost the govt. (because it is the tax collecting authority) their nett salary. Which is why there is so many of the buggers. One of the ‘unintended’ consequences of a high tax economy is that the govt. can employ people far more cheaply than you or I. Indeed, for otherwise useless people, they only cost the difference between their potential benefits and their nett salary.

  8. @Roue le Jour
    When you say nett salary you should say salary plus pension. Public sector pensions *still* cost a horrendous amount. A middle-aged female teacher cost over £30 in pension contributions for every £100 of salary.

  9. RLJ: Well, their net salaray plus the admin drag induced by one Gov’t dep’t paying money to another, or at least accounting for said payment…

  10. john77

    I take it you mean a middle aged female teacher will receive an additional 30 quid of pension for every 100 quid of salary? Teacher’s pension contributions are entirely notional.

  11. TomJ

    Well, yes, I was simplifying. Teachers cost their local education authority the gross, but from the point of view of the treasury, only the nett.

  12. @ Roue le Jour
    Combination of future pension plus lump sum. And the LEA has to pay the Treasury so not wholly notional.

  13. john77
    I don’t claim to be that knowledgeable on public sector pensions but I am assuming their pension contribution is the same as their NI contribution, i.e. it’s deducted from their gross salary but does not go into any kind of pot?

  14. @ Roue le Jour
    As far as the Teachers and the LEAs are concerned it waddles like a Pension Scheme and Quacks like a Pension Scheme except that the fund is notionally invested in notional gilt-edged stocks and HM Treasury picks up the bill for the recurring deficit. If there was an actual fund invested in gilt-edged that would make no difference to the teacher or the LEA.
    Extract from annual accounts:
    Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012.
    The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is a contracted out, unfunded, defined benefit pay-as-you-go occupational pension scheme operated by the Department for Education (DfE) and is governed by statutory regulations. The current regulations are the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations (amended) 2010 (SI2010/990) (the Regulations). Membership of the scheme is voluntary and is open to members of the teaching profession in England and Wales who satisfy the membership criteria.
    Contributions to the Scheme by employers and employees are set at rates determined by the Scheme’s Actuary and approved by the DfE. The contributions partially fund payments made by the Scheme, the balance of funding being provided by Parliament through the annual Supply Estimates process. The administrative expenses associated with the operation of the Scheme are borne by the DfE and reported in DfE’s financial statements.”

  15. Thanks for taking the time to do that, John. I can see it is a more complex subject than I thought.

    I was really just interested in riding one of my hobby-horses, which is that in a welfare state it is much cheaper for the state to employ someone than the private sector. When we talk about taking the poor out of tax I think this should work both ways, i.e. not just be about getting the bureaucracy off the back of the employee, but the employer as well.

    Here in Thailand if I want to pay someone to spray my modest plot of cassava, I just do it. This is denigrated as ‘black market’, ‘under the counter’, ‘cash in hand’ etc. in the UK but perfectly legal here. The state takes no interest in the financial affairs of poor people, (or what I do with my taxed income) which is as it should be.

  16. RLJ: No, not really, because the admin involved in ensuring the right amount is transfered from one pot to another has associated costs – bean counters, electronic abacuses on which to count the beans, fillers-in of forms to say beans have been counted… I’ll grant it isn’t the notional gross cost, but it adds to the overall cost to the public purse.

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