Thursday, August 02, 2012

Coded criticism of pensions ballot from within the UNISON Centre?

Yesterday's circular to UNISON's Local Government branches from the UNISON Centre was LG/39/2012  "Introducing a Living Wage in Local Government - The Equalities Considerations". It dealt with Equality considerations in relation to the introduction of the Living Wage for local authority employees.



It advised branches as follows; "It will be necessary to assess the equality impact of every proposal under consideration to verify the assumption that the introduction of a Living Wage will secure improved pay for women and narrow the gender pay gap."



It's clear that branches are (quite rightly) being advised to carry out this work before putting any proposal to their members in a ballot.



Given the timing of this circular, in the first week of the ballot on the proposals for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS 2014), which is taking place in the absence of an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) (and on the basis of precisely the sort of unverified assumptions which are criticised in the circular - http://www.jonrogers1963.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/pensions-how-to-ignore-conference.html?m=1), it's hard not to see this as a very clear implied criticism of the handling of the Pensions ballot.



Given that the holding of the Pensions ballot without an EIA puts the whole exercise in breach of Local Government Conference Policy, this (barely) coded criticism of the conduct of the LGPS Ballot from officials within the UNISON Centre is both timely and appropriate.


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