Brendan Barber, current general secretary of the TUC, is expected to receive a six figure “golden goodbye” when he retires at the end of the year.
According to the Daily Mail, he will be given the equivalent of a year’s salary, which amounts to more than £100,526 - around four times the average full-time UK wage of £26,200. Barber will also benefit from the TUC’s gold-plated final salary pension scheme, which is likely to pay out to the tune of £62,000 per year, according to an estimate by financial advisors, Hargreaves Lansdown. The news came to light only a few days after Barber, a recognised moderate who has been with the trade union umbrella organisation for almost a decade, used his speech at its annual conference in Brighton to warn that the UK had become a place of “stratospheric inequality”. Although Paul Kenny, the TUC’s president, noted that all general secretaries were paid the equivalent of a year’s salary once they had completed “satisfactory service”, one senior union source was unhappy with the arrangement. “The idea of a trade unionist feathering his nest with such a massive fat-cat payoff is just offensive,” the source said. Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayer’s Alliance, agreed. “It is incredible hypocrisy for a union boss who has spent his time playing class warrior to walk away with such a huge payoff,” he said. “Brendan Barber should be campaigning against this kind of excessive pay-out, not banking one.” But Barber would not be the first in the trade union movement to benefit from a “golden goodbye”. Last year, Derek Simpson walked away with more than £500,000 when he stood down as joint general secretary of Unite, despite criticism from his successor, Len McCluskey, who described the pay-out as “inappropriate”.