Simpsons severance ‘We want our money back’!
Posted by jerryhicks4gs on August 7, 2011
From: Jerry Hicks:
Dear Bro. McCluskey,
I write regarding the recent announcements regarding the ‘severance payment’ of over £361,000 paid to former General Secretary Derek Simpson. As you will be aware, I have frequently expressed my concerns over the level of remuneration received by this man.
I am concerned firstly that this payment appears to have been authorised in breach of rule.
The General Purposes and Finance Committee held in March 2008 was in the last days of the Amicus section and appears to have been irregular: ‘the minute taker was asked to leave the room’.
This debt was created in the knowledge that there was going to be an amalgamation and that the debt would be born equally by TGWU members (whose General Secretary, despite giving up two years of office, received no compensation).
I am also concerned to hear that (AGS) Les Bayliss was involved, given his past involvement in other financial scandals. He (Les Bayliss) I believe has also left the union with a large six figure severance payment. Which was during your tenure as General Secretary.
Furthermore, I am surprised that the Union’s trustees paid out the money to Mr Simpson, especially without consulting anyone. They owe a fiduciary duty to the Union’s members. They should be closely scrutinising all transactions, especially ones involving gargantuan sums of money and suspicious circumstances.
I do not see how Mr Simpson, who was not made redundant, but retired at the end of an extended term of office, could have been entitled to a ‘severance payment’. Mr Simpson is entitled to retire immediately and draw down a substantial tax free lump sum from his union pension. He is also housed in union owned house for the rest of his days.
For all these reasons I am concerned that the payment might have been unlawful.
Reference has been made to an affidavit sworn by Bro Steve Davidson. I would like to see a copy of this affidavit. I note your comments ‘Unite is committed to transparency, probity and lay control of our finances going forward.’
I note that the Union is seeking legal advice on recovering this money, please can I be kept informed of developments.
I am advised that, if the payment was made in breach of rule, the Union may be able make a restitutionary claim against Mr Simpson.
Please take notice that if I am not satisfied that the Union is properly pursuing this matter, I may take action under section 16 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1996. If a court found that the trustees had unlawfully applied union funds, it could order them to take steps to recover the money from Mr Simpson, and potentially remove the trustees. I will also consider taking this matter to the Certification Officer.
Obviously this is to be avoided if at all possible. But I will be most resistant to attempts to ‘draw a line’ under this very important matter, unless I am satisfied that it has been properly investigated and, ultimately the £361,000 of members money is returned to whom it belongs, that being, the members.
I await your reply.
Yours fraternally, J R Hicks (Jerry).
Tel 07817827912 Email: email@example.com