Top union `fat cat' gets pounds 300,000-a-year package

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ritain's highest paid union leader, Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' association, now receives a package worth nearly pounds 300,000 a year, it was revealed yesterday.

Mr Taylor, whose 2,600-strong organisation recently joined the Trades Union Congress, receives pay and benefits of pounds 295,741, according to the annual report of the Government's Certification Office.

The union covers professional football players with a wider range of wages than any other TUC affiliate. Some league players are on as little as pounds 15,00 a year in division three, but Mr Taylor's income is dwarfed by the pounds 1.5m a year received by some of the premier league stars.

The document also revealed that Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers, was receiving total remuneration of pounds 62,526 a year. The salary of the mineworkers' leader, who has presided over a union in which membership has declined from 50,000 to around 6,000 in a decade, is now linked to inflation. In effect, Mr Scargill's members each pay pounds 10 a year towards his earnings.

The Certification Office reported that more than one-third of union leaders earned above pounds 40,000 a year, with 31 per cent being paid between pounds 20,000 and pounds 40,000.

The second highest paid union leader was Mack Armstrong, general secretary of the 105,000-strong ritish Medical Association, who received pounds 101,347. The next highest, on pounds 95,343, was Peter Smith, leader of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

Other "fat cats" among top trade unionists were Christine Hancock, leader of the Royal College of Nursing, on pounds 83,501; Alan Jinkinson, who as general secretary of the Unison public service union when the figures were collated in 1994 was on pounds 77,546; and Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, who received a package worth pounds 76,404.

John Edmonds, leader of the GM general union and ill Morris, general secretary of the Transport and General, were among the highest paid representatives of blue-collar workers, enjoying packages of pounds 73,000 and pounds 71,213 respectively. John Monks, general secretary of the TUC, received pounds 66,120.

The Certification Office also recorded that union membership had fallen to its lowest level since the Second World War. In 1994, it fell to 8,230,545, from a peak in 1979 at 13.2 million. Fewer than one in three employees are now trade unionists.