Khan under fire as cost of key TfL union perk rockets
Sadiq Khan was last accused of having the “wrong priorities for London” after it emerged that the amount of time Transport for London (TfL) staff are dedicating to trade union duties has rocketed since he came to office.
In 2015/16, just 48 TfL employees spent more than 50 percent of their time on trade union duties, but this number surged to 148 last year.
This has come at a cost of over £7.9 million in 2018/19 – up from £4.4 million during the final year of Boris Johnson’s mayoralty.
The practice of allowing union reps paid time off work to deal with union-related matters is known as “facility time”.
The Coalition Government curbed the activities of union representatives in the civil service, saving £26 million in the process and reducing the number of full-time union employees from 200 to eight. As it comes under the control of the Mayor of London, these reforms didn’t affect TfL.
Commenting, Keith Prince AM said:
“For the millions of Londoners who are having to deal with cancelled transport infrastructure upgrades, increasingly congested Underground stations and cuts to our bus network, Sadiq Khan’s decision to spend millions on subsidising the unions will come as a slap in the face.
“This shocking rise proves beyond doubt that this out of touch Mayor has completely the wrong priorities for London. Londoners want the Mayor to be concentrating on improving our creaking transport network, not splashing out on trade union perks.
“This sort of wasteful spending would be unacceptable if TfL was in good financial health, but it beggars belief that the Mayor thinks this is a good use of money at a time when the transport budget is firmly in the red."