At lunchtime I posted the union’s press release about today’s ruling. It looks pretty hopeful to me. The implementation of the new Civil Service Compensation Scheme was indeed unlawful and the scheme has therefore been quoshed until the government can negotiate a new one that must be agreed by all the relevant unions. Which by my reckoning means that the existing scheme must stand, and therefore the date of 31st July 2010, that we’d been advised was the latest they could guarantee access to the existing scheme, must be irrelevant. Surely? The current scheme is the only scheme available. Surely?
But we needed clarification so after the union’s press we were all waiting on tenterhooks (well, I was for sure) for something to come out from the Land Registry Board, confirming this – or otherwise. Sure enough, it wasn’t too long before an email was issued, but it didn’t give immediate clarity. We were told that the Cabinet Office has given the board “detailed instructions” about what the ruling means for those being made redundant as a result of the Land Registry transformation programme, but that the board had to analyse and interpret those instructions before issuing anything concrete. They hope to do so on Monday. My optimistic outlook inferred from the fact that the Cabinet Office had issued such “detailed instructions” that maybe they were not planning to appeal against the decision. After all, they can only appeal if they have reasonable grounds to do so, and simply not liking the outcome oughtn’t be enough.
So until Monday or beyond, we still don’t know exactly where we stand. And I’m not back in the office at all next week, so I’ll just have to hope that people remember to let me know if we hear anything.
But before I left today, this little extra came my way:
The Cabinet Office has written to all Civil Service employers to outline the key points of the Judgement. That communication includes the following statement:
“You must not assume that the old terms will continue unchanged for more than the next couple of months or so. The coalition programme contains a clear commitment to reduce the costs of the CSCS and we expect that the Government will wish to pursue this policy intention as soon as possible.”
This statement suggests that the Government’s intention is that the protection of existing terms provided by the outcome of the Judicial Review may be short term.
As always, watch this space…