Golden Wheelchairgate Continues

Simpson: Wads and Wads of it
We have now obtained the documents referred to in Fraser's irate email below, they are all union publications so read with a pinch of salt or even better re-read Fraser's email.

Below is the letter to union bodies telling them how to present this problem:

We can anticipate that this will give rise to disquiet among the membership

Here is the official union statement

Here are the Union prepared Q&A

It seems that the age old cycle of the new bureaucracy getting revenge on the old is in play. What is becoming evident is how little the lay parts of the union (mostly the small General Secretary supporters clubs) knew. At the Executive debate on this, which lasted about 4 hours, it was decided to investigate the possibility of launching a legal challenge with a view to claiming the money back. Yeah sure, just like last time, when it took an ordinary member to get rid of GS Lyons. confidently predict this cycle will be happening again when McCluskey goes. Unless a grass roots candidate wins in which case maybe we'll actually get some funds back and it'll all come to an end.

Scandal over Simpson's Golden Wheelchair exclusive!
Salaries up, Subs up, members down have obtained an extraordinary email to the Union's General Secretary from a member of the General Purposes and Finance Committee (GPFC), the most powerful lay body in the union. We reproduce it below and it speaks for itself.

Meantime, while the scandal over Simpson's £1/2 million payoff and pension continues,  we have also learnt of secret plans for  the union  to increase subscriptions to ordinary members by almost 5% from September.

From: Alastair Fraser
Sent: 22 July 2011 21:27
Subject: RE: AR21

Dear Len

I am in receipt of the statements concerning the severance payment for former Joint General Secretary (JGS) Simpson. As a member of the Amicus GPFC meeting, I take exception to any suggestion that I was party to an agreement for severance payments for JGS Simpson.

The facts are these:
At the time of the merger between MSF and AEEU, Roger Lyons was awarded a pay increase by the MSF Executive. JGS Simpson made a public point of refusing to accept a similar increase for himself.
AGS Ed Sweeney met the Amicus GPFC some time (years) later arguing that GS Simpson’s pension should be based on this higher, notional salary and not on his actual salary. GS Simpson was said to be unconcerned whether this was approved or not. The GPFC did not approve the proposal.

At a later date Assistant General Secretary (AGS) Bayliss met the GPFC and reopened the argument for GS Simpson’s pension to be based on this higher amount. It now appeared that GS Simpson was more favourably disposed to accepting this benefit. We had a discussion, at some points heated, with AGS Bayliss. He presented no new facts to the GPFC and there was no reason for the GPFC to change its position. I recall Mr Bayliss making the point that we had looked after our “enemies” meaning severance payments to officers not sympathetic to GS Simpson, who had been forced out of the union. Mr Bayliss said we should be generous to our friends. The GPFC DID NOT approve the proposed changed to GS Simpson’s pension entitlement.

Severance payments to GS Simpson WERE NOT DISCUSSED at this meeting, or any other I attended.

AGS was the only officer or staff member at this meeting and I do not accept that it was a formally constituted meeting of the GPFC capable of making decisions. I challenge anyone to produce the minutes of this meeting.

For your information, details of the severance packages available to officers and staff in Amicus were never reported to the GPFC or EC. These were dealt with purely as a matter of negotiation between Bro Simpson and the officers’ and staff committees.

I had no reason to believe that GS Simpson would not retire normally at Age 65.

The merger with the T&G resulted, as you know, with agreement that GS Simpson would remain employed for an additional year until he was 66. The GPFC asked questions about the implications for his pension if such a proposal was agreed. I do not recall getting any satisfactory answers about any potential pension, or other, liabilities arising from this extension to GS Simpson’s normal retirement date.

I do not recall, at any meeting, any discussion about a severance package for GS Simpson.

Regardless of any affidavits you may have from individual GPFC members I would like to make it clear that I was not party to any severance arrangements for GS Simpson nor was I aware of any such arrangements being in existence.


Alastair Fraser

Simpson's Golden Wheelchair

Simpson - Ermine wheelchair
It's just been revealed than ex General Secretary Simpson was paid £510,659 last year.  This was made up of £361,347 in severance pay, £97,677 in gross salary, and more than £51,000 in housing benefit and car allowances.

Unite's executive, who are meant to run the union, requested a legal opinion on the payoff at their meeting on Monday.

Full story in the Guardian, Telegraph and Huffington Post.

Previous story Simpson Tops Union Rich List.

Simpson Tops Union Rich List

Simpson before raising 2 fingers
In a parting gesture to members former Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson has topped a list of the highest paid union bosses for the 2009/10 financial year, with a package of £186,626, according to PrintWeek.

That's a whole £56,520 ahead of the next highest, Dave Prentis of Unison.

Unite's Plunging Membership

members went thataway
Ex General Secretary (but still on the payroll on his old salary) Tony Woodley has written a presentation.  The six-page document shows the union lost 262,740 of its 1.44million members between 2007 and 2010. He concludes that such losses are unsustainable.  The article was 'leaked' to the Times and written up for free by the Daily Mail.