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Staff penalised for Dick Brown's failure

EDS UK pensions under fire

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Letter This letter from Colin Sambrook
Senior National Officer of the Public and Commercial Services Union was published in the weekend edition of The FT (Mar 29/30). We republish it with permission from the PCS.

You have recently reported on the turmoil in EDS, including the departure of Dick Brown, who will receive a $35 million severance package. EDS has considerable involvement in UK government work, including provision of IT services for the Inland Revenue and other government departments. Many civil servants have transferred over to EDS as their employer, and other EDS staff work on company contracts without that protection.

Whilst Dick Brown will receive his full contractual entitlement on his “retirement” from the company, my union is concerned about the position of other employees. EDS are proposing to change pension arrangements for new employees from a final salary scheme, as enjoyed by Dick Brown, to a purchase scheme, which means that employees will only be entitled to a pension based on the value that their contributions have earned.

What concerns PCS is that Dick Brown’s pension terms are not being replicated throughout the company. Those working on government contracts throughout the UK would not get the same severance terms as he enjoys, unless they have the protection of TUPE terms.

Dick Brown was seen as the key to EDS’s success when he was taken on, so his terms reflected that. But whoever drew up his contract of employment deserves to be brought to book for failing to ensure that there were any penalty clauses. Some of our members are being penalised in the new pension proposals for Dick Brown's failure, which is simply unfair.

It makes the company look bad. It undervalues our members’ contribution to the company’s successes. It makes them bear the financial burden where the company fails.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Sambrook
Senior National Officer

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