15 March 2002

Union plans set to reward chairmen

NFU commodity committee chairmen could receive payment for the work they do under new plans to reform the union.

Council members met yesterday (March 14) behind closed doors to discuss the Meeting Members Expectations report, which contains recommendations for the NFUs future role and structure.

One of the suggested changes would be to increase the profile of the main arable commodity committees to ease the workload of the main office holders.

NFU vice-president Michael Paske said he wanted the committee chairmen to be recognised as the "real experts" in their field, releasing senior office holders to concentrate on policy issues.

But he recognised that higher involvement from committee chairmen would need reimbursement above the expenses they can currently claim.

He suggested they should be paid an honorarium – a per day payment for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge.

Mr Paske said the move would also help address the impression that arable issues are not given a high enough profile. "The cereals committee is a national cereals organisation anyway. Whether we look at ways of rebadging it so that it becomes a national group is something well have to think about." &#42