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


  1. Interesting email, but can anyone shed any light on the following? In a recent statement released by the EC it states that Tony Woodley in his organising role is now only earning £20,000 per year. However, Unite has a final salary pension scheme so if this is true is Woodley only going to get a pension based on this final salary figure? I don't think so. Something doesn't look right, is he already collecting his pension, or has he also had some sort of agreement to buy out his final year? Does anyone know the arrangement?

  2. i would suggest a compromise has been done on the same arrangements off Simpson in terms off pay off so its pay off penison + 20k

  3. Under the Instrument of amalgamation the only person required to leave office before normal retirement agre was TW on this basis "discussions" took place between TWs Legal advisor and the Chair and Vice Chair of the T&G GEC. It can only be assumed that a deal based on the VS scheme of the T&G was struck ie 4or 5 weeks for every year of service. TW was an officer for over 20 years so it would be about 2 years salary (£170,000)plus pension with no abatement, he being over 60.
    Everyone assumed that this agreement would evaporate when TW resigned as GS and took up the position of Director of organising but if the £20000 figure is correct then perhaps it did not.
    With the outcry over Simpson, He should have been refused the payment and invited to sue for it. It is only right that the TW position be clarified

  4. The real puzzle in all this is who leaked this email and why and what was the motive
    Alastair Fraser
    i think not this site and previous versions have certainly not been a friend off Mr Fraser
    So it between LM + TW or somebody with access to there email ( MR Murry) care to enlighten us David

  5. Sure. Fraser emailed it to a lot of people, about 40. He intended it to get out I think. We wouldn't identify our source anyway. You're right Fraser is on the right. We have more to post including some documents referred to, will try and do it tomorrow. Motive, as often, is somone very unhappy with the way this union is run.