TfL's trade union subsidy almost doubles under Khan
The cost of Transport for London staff taking time off for trade union duties has nearly doubled under Sadiq Khan new figures have revealed.
The practice, known as "facility time, is when an employee takes time off from their normal role to carry out duties and activities as a trade union representative.
Since Sadiq Khan took office, the cost of facility time has soared to £8.7 million - compared to the £4.4 million TfL bill in Boris Johnson's final year as Mayor. In four years, facility time has risen to 0.4% of TfL's total wage bill up from 0.23% in 2015/16. The number of TfL staff who devote more than 50% of their time to trade union duties has rocketed from 48 to 81 in the same period.
In comparison, TfL spends nearly as much as the entire Civil Service on facility time. The Civil Service's bill is only £1 million more despite the fact it has over 400,000 staff to TfL's 27,000.
TfL's facility time bill is also around 5 times higher than the Government's recommended spend for public sector organisations, which is based on the average cost of facility time in the Civil Service. Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, told LBC: "I think it just shows that the unions are in charge. They get these inflated wages for their members, which to be fair is their job, but we shouldn't allow it to happen. "We need a rebalancing somewhere, and this is the sort of thing that Khan has got to start looking into. The taxpayer can't continually bail out TfL when you look at excessive figures like this."