Jane Pilgrim

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Jane Pilgrim is an English full-time trade union organiser working in the National Health Service for UNISON.[1] She came to public attention in 2011 after criticising the government's health policies.[2] Despite being billed as a nurse, she was found to be a full-time trade union official, being paid an annual salary of £40,000 by the hospital.[1] In 2011, she was under investigation by both St George's Hospital and UNISON for running a private health consultancy called 'The Pilgrim Way' on the side, creating a conflict of interests.[1] The outcome of this investigation is unknown.

After this discovery, full-time taxpayer-funded trade union officials have become known as "Pilgrims",[3] with an Early Day Motion being introduced to the House of Commons condemning such practices.[4] David Morris MP has raised the issue with the Health Secretary, while Alok Sharma MP asked a question of the Prime Minister. David Cameron responded that "It's nice work if you can get it!"[5] Sharma has also sent Freedom of Information requests to all local councils to uncover how many "Pilgrims" are employed in local government, with the replies indicating at least £35m a year being spent,[6]

Calling herself a 'peace and love' activist, the Daily Mail has reported that Pilgrim is the leader of a thirty-person commune in Kingston upon Thames.[1] She has since joined the Green Party.[citation needed] In 2009, she had been criticised for sending staff on "shopping jaunts", so-called "service safaris", to John Lewis to find out about good service.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Walters, Simon (16 April 2011). "Nurse who called Health Minister Andrew Lansley a liar is £40,000-a-year full-time union official". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  2. ^ Randhawa, Kiran (11 April 2011). "Nurse who called Health Minister Andrew Lansley a liar is £40,000-a-year full-time union official". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 14 April 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Unions must fund their own staff". The Sunday Telegraph. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Early day motion 1799 - Trade union officials paid for from the public purse". Hansard. Parliament. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  5. ^ Sharma, Alok (26 January 2011). "Sharma highlights local use of taxpayers' money to fund full-time union posts". Sharma, Alok. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  6. ^ Sharma, Alok (28 April 2011). "Alok Sharma MP: How Council Tax payers have funded £35 million of Trade Union salaries over the past three years". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 15 May 2011.