Union leaders are split over new pension deal
Friday 1st February 2013, 12:00PM GMT.
INFIGHTING among union officials has led to two senior figures effectively being forced to remove themselves from discussions on planned pension changes.
Unite regional officer Bob Lanning claimed he was now leading the ASEO – an umbrella body that represents 12 unions active in Guernsey.
It is understood that ASEO chairman Ed Freestone and vice-chairman Chris Torode removed themselves from talks after their colleagues reacted furiously to the deal they presented.
Mr Lanning said as far as he was concerned, the working group was only supposed to review the current final salary pension scheme and did not have the authority to negotiate on behalf of his members.
Terms of reference for the working group, published by the States Pensions Consultative Committee more than a year ago, clearly stated it was to ‘make recommendations regarding future pension provisions’.
When pressed on the terms of reference, Mr Lanning, pictured, confirmed he had read it and admitted he was at fault for failing to grasp the significance.
‘I totally agree I should have picked up on it,’ he said. ‘I do believe there was a fault on my part and absolutely accept that some of the blame lies at my door. Maybe I was naive, which seems strange since I’ve been in this job forever.’