Date: 19 January 2006
UNISON challenges Executive on pensions advice
UNISON, the largest Scottish Local Government union today challenged
the Scottish Executive to produce the legal advice and the financial
advice they have received on the Local Government Pension scheme
and the 'Rule of 85' for discussion with local government employers
and trade unions.
Joe di Paola, UNISON's Scottish organiser (Bargaining), said "Following
Tom McCabe's statements in Parliament and in the media on the legal
advice they had received saying that the Rule of 85 is discriminatory.
Both ourselves and CoSLA asked for sight of that advice at our tripartite
meeting yesterday and were refused.
"As Mr McCabe acknowledges, he has seen the advice from UNISON
and CoSLA. If the government is so sure of its advice that they
are prepared to reject two contrary opinions, why are they frightened
to show it to us?"
In addition the Executive agency that regulates public sector pensions
the Scottish Public Pensions Agency commissioned a report from
a firm of actuaries on - we believe - the affordability of the rule
of 85 and a health check on the state of the funds, which they have
so far refused to release to us and the employers.
Joe Di Paola said "We have requested this report on two previous
occasions and been refused on the grounds that they are continuing
to analyse the information. We are aware that the position of Scottish
Local Government Funds tend to be better than those south of the
border, but given that the cost was a major reason for the English
employers to argue for the removal of the rule, we want to be clear
whether such arguments apply here. The purpose of the tripartite
discussions is so that all stakeholders can discuss the future of
the LGPS openly. This can't be done in one of the parties is keeping
For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish
organiser - Bargaining) 0845 355 0845(w) 07958 121 861(m) Chris
Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)