Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pants on fire?


What follows is an email thread between myself and a senior national official of UNISON (copied to two senior elected lay representatives). This relates to an obvious inaccuracy which I pointed out in the Union’s main leaflet on the LGPS 2014 proposals, which wrongly states that the revaluation rate proposed for the scheme was predetermined by the Coalition Government, whereas (as anyone who has been following the negotiations would know) they were part of the outcome of the negotiations. You can read the leaflet online at http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/20840.pdf.

This error is not the most significant problem in relation to the LGPS proposals, but I have been very frustrated at the refusal of officials to respond to what has been a perfectly reasonable question. As a result, UNISON continues knowingly to issue and distribute a leaflet containing an obvious material inaccuracy. There is (of course) a word that can be used to describe those who knowing disseminate untruth.

----- Original Message -----
From: Rogers, Jon
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 04:31 PM
To:
Cc:
Subject: Re: Four week old query

Can I expect a reply to my original question at any point before I am entitled to claim an unreduced pension?

----- Original Message -----
From: Rogers, Jon
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 03:39 PM
To:
Cc:
Subject: Re: Four week old query

That doesn't explain why you lied in the leaflet about the Coalition Government having predetermined the revaluation rate.

Nor why you have avoided answering my question on this point for a month.

At the least that was terrible incompetence.

I hope that anything we publish will honestly take account of the impact of our having conceded the change to the pension age.

----- Original Message -----
From:
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 03:32 PM
To: Rogers, Jon
Cc:
Subject: RE: Four week old query

Jon

Further calculations comparing the schemes, using average earnings and 1/60 will be placed on the Pension site tomorrow. As you will see, the LGPS 2014 still delivers the best results. Sorry!

-----Original Message-----
From: Rogers, Jon
Sent: 24 July 2012 15:19
To:
Cc:
Subject: Re: Four week old query

I'm on leave now but would still appreciate the courtesy of a response.

----- Original Message -----
From: Rogers, Jon
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 09:12 AM
To:
Cc:
Subject: Four week old query

I wrote to you on 27 June as follows;

"I was disappointed to see that in the glossy leaflet summarising the LGPS 2014 proposals the following text is included‪ ‪

'Inflation link for revaluation‪ ‪-CPI revaluation rate - as laid down by the coalition before the current negotiations' ‪


This is completely wrong. The Treasury document published on 2 November proposed "an accrual rate of 1/60ths and earnings indexation for benefits while still working in the public service". This was the "reference scheme" and it did not include a revaluation rate of CPI but of Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) (estimated by GAD to be CPI+2.25% as we know).‪ ‪


Before I distribute any of these leaflets to members please can you explain to me why we are claiming that the coalition "laid down" a CPI revaluation rate "before the current negotiations". Please direct me to the ministerial statement or Treasury or DCLG document which substantiates this claim.‪"


You have not yet replied.

When, as an NEC member, I asked the same question at the NEC on 11 July I was told that, as you were on leave, there was no one else at the UNISON Centre who could answer the question.

I am therefore writing now to request a response to the fairly simple question I asked four weeks ago.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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