Unison Glasgow Clyde & CVS Branch 

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Update on impact of pensions following firefighters pensions legal case

UNISON reponse to media coverage at QEUH

Background

• On 20 December 2018, the Court of Appeal in Lord Chancellor v McCloud (and others) held that in relation to the judicial and firefighters’ pension schemes, transitional provisions introduced in 2015 gave rise to unlawful age discrimination. The matter is now being discussed at Employment Tribunals to determine a remedy for claimants.

• During December 2019 case management discussions (CMDs) have been held in respect of the judiciary, police, fire fighters and Ministry of Defence police.

• The government has agreed an interim declaration with claimants in the case management discussions for the judicial, police and MoD police claimants. The declarations mean that the claimants are entitled to be treated as members of the appropriate pre-2015 schemes.

• The government intends to extend the same treatment to all members of the public service pension schemes (whether claimants or not), including the NHS Pension Scheme, who are in the same legal and factual position as the claimants. However, this is not straightforward as simply returning all relevant members to the pre-2015 schemes would cause detriment for some members of public service pension schemes as there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who were in post as at the 31 March 2012 that are expected to be better off in the new schemes. This will particularly be the case in the NHS Pension Scheme.

• It’s important to remember that the courts found that the transitional protections that were introduced as part of the move to the 2015 scheme were discriminatory not the scheme itself. Hence, it is entirely possible that NHS 2015 scheme members who have been discriminated against and are potentially allowed the opportunity to move back into their previous 1995 or 2008 Section could find that at some future point they will still be required to move to the 2015.

• Changes to legislation will be required in order to eliminate the discrimination identified in the public sector pension schemes. These changes will be subject to consultation prior to implementation.

Next steps

• The NHS scheme advisory boards that cover the England and Wales scheme, the Scotland scheme and the Northern Ireland Scheme are due to meet over the coming weeks.

• The process for compensating NHS scheme members who have been discriminated against will be discussed at these meetings.

• Once more information is available on how compensation will be applied this will be circulated to branches.

When we have more information, we will advise if any decisions affect our members and keep you informed of any actions members may need to take.

In response to the frequent high profile reports in the media of issues at the QEUH, our Assistant Branch Secretary Frances Carmichael has made the following statement:


“The trade unions are working with management to support the staff as much as possible but the constant media attention and political football is having a significant impact on staff morale.


“Our staff work very hard to deliver the best care they can to patients as that is first and foremost their priority but when you wake up every morning to another report in the media or the politicians using their place of work to score points against each other it makes their job even harder to reassure their patients that they are safe to come into the hospital.”


Frances added, “There is a lot of good work going on with great outcomes for patients and we need to get that message out there.”

UNISON Reacts to removal of drinking water fountains

Matt McLaughlin UNISON Regional Organiser, has contacted the director of estates for clarity on the current drinking water situation. Below is a copy of the email. We will update members when we receive a response:


Dear Tom,


I have received a significant number of contacts from UNISON members and activists concerning the Boards decision to remove drinking water coolers from the workplace, on the basis that the ‘tap’ in these coolers represents a risk to health from infection control and the nature of stored, uncirculated water similarly presents risks to health.


Further we expect that NHSGGC will work with UNISON to identify areas where water is safe but not palatable to ensure a sensible outcome.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Matt McLaughlin

UNISON Scotland