SCOTLAND’s most senior trade union figure is topping up his salary with three paid posts in the public sector.

Grahame Smith, whose salary package at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is believed to be close to £70,000, earns extra on account of sitting on Government-linked boards.

He took on one of the jobs after the organisation’s then vice-president backed a campaign calling on male trade unionists to stop occupying multiple positions.

Smith became STUC general secretary in 2006 and leads a body that acts as the voice for hundreds of thousands of trade unionists. Over the decades, the STUC has been at the forefront of campaigns for equality, redistribution and social justice.

However, a senior union figure told this newspaper there is unhappiness over the additional roles Smith has accepted on top of his day job. Smith has numerous unpaid positions, such as serving as chairperson of Scotland Europa, but he has also agreed to various remunerated roles.

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Sitting on the board of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), a quango, the Strathclyde University graduate is entitled to another £6,240 a year for two days a month. He can also claim a daily rate of up to £250, plus appropriate expenses, for time devoted to duties associated with membership of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board.

In July, Smith was appointed by Cabinet Secretary John Swinney to the board of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which pays him £4,739 a year for 23 days per annum.

Months earlier, Public and Commercial Services Union national officer Lynn Henderson, who at that point was also vice-president of the STUC, issued a “step aside, brother” call to male trade unionists.

In an article on International Women’s Day, she wrote: “Are you a man occupying multiple union positions? Are you a man that has held leading officer posts for years? Are you a man who is a regular union conference delegate?

“Are you a man who is always first to sign up to a union activity? Hand up first to speak at meetings, Brother? Yes? Then I am asking you to Step Aside, Brother.”

She called on males to ask themselves: “Is it really necessary or in the best interest of our movement that I hold all these offices? Is there, perhaps, by stepping aside from just one of my positions, I can create space for and bring on someone on?”

Henderson, who is now STUC president, added: “Step Aside, Brother does not seek to subvert union democracy, undermine political leadership or ‘take out’ individuals.

“Step Aside Brother is a big ask to men in our movement to make an individual and conscious act to grow the movement for the future.” Scottish Tory MSP Annie Wells said: “Perhaps the STUC president needs to start her campaign right at the top of the organisation.”

An STUC spokesperson said: “All members of public bodies are appointed in a personal capacity by Scottish ministers, following a transparent public appointments process and in line with the Scottish Government’s requirements for gender balance on public bodies.”