Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Equality and pensions

Sometimes circumstances seem almost to conspire against me! Much as I mean to blog a report of last week's UNISON National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, events ("dear boy, events") keep getting in the way.



Some events are current and projected ballots of UNISON members over changes to pension schemes. In health the ballot is underway and in local government it could start any week/month/year/decade...



At any event, in accordance with Rule B.1.2 UNISON is bound to promote equality and our Equality Scheme is therefore an important document (http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/18146.pdf).



This scheme includes an action plan which includes (within the Health Service Group section of the plan) action HSG 5 which commits us to the target that "Equality Impact Assessments will be undertaken on national agreements and protocols prior to UNISON approval". It also includes action (within the Local Government Service Group section) Ref LG 12 which states that it is our target that "All future regulatory changes proposed to the LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) are equality impact-assessed".



It follows from these published commitments by our trade union that we must already have an equality impact assessment of the NHS pension proposals, and must at least plan to have such an assessment of the LGPS proposals before we start any member ballot.



Being as cackhanded online as I am tongue-tied in public I have failed to find these equality impact assessments on our website so have asked the relevant officers to let me have copies. Since challenging discrimination and winning equality is at the heart of UNISON's policies (http://www.unison.org.uk/equality/) I am sure I shall soon see these assessments and be able to publish links to them.



Watch this space!

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