In an advertisement he has taken out in the News Letter (October 20), Patrick Mulholland, who is opposing Nipsa’s deputy general secretary Alison Millar in the current election for a new Nipsa general secretary, states that if elected he will ‘live on a member’s wage’.
He will not. If elected, he would in fact take the full general secretary salary of £55,695 ( and presumably the pension that goes with it ) but claims he would donate some of it to causes that are not specified in any of his election literature.
He would of course be free to do what he likes with his own money as we all are, though most of us do not feel driven to boast about it when we contribute to charities and the like. However he is being disingenuous in omitting to state what the so-called ‘worker’s wage’ he would live on actually is (ie his current salary, which is not quantified in his election literature or his advertisement) or what sort of ‘public servant’ he is (in his election literature he calls himself only an ‘education worker’).
In fact he is a senior manager with the South Eastern Education and Library Board and when publicly challenged recently was forced to admit that his current salary is £40,000 pa, though with responsibility points his actual income may be substantially higher.
The average Nipsa member’s wage is less than £25,000 pa and only two Nipsa officials are paid more than Patrick, so a little honesty about his alleged ‘worker’s wage’ would not go amiss. The Socialist Party, of which Patrick is a member, used to argue that all union officials irrespective of what job they did should take only the average industrial wage (as Sinn Fein MLAs currently do) and I am not sure why they have now jettisoned that position but the fact is that the vast majority of Nipsa members and officials would be considerably better off if they were in receipt of Patrick’s salary.
With regard to his claimed opposition to sectarianism in the advertisement, this might have had more credibility had he not changed his name from ‘Padraig’ to ‘Patrick’ prior to the election and campaigned on the slogan ‘Vote For One Of Your Own.’
Michael McKeown, Belfast BT9