§ Mr. Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what discussions he has had with trade unions regarding the planned changes to the Benefits Agency leading to the establishment of a working age agency and a pensions agency. 
§ Angela Eagle
A working age agency joint trade union forum has been established which represents staff from Employment Service, Benefits Agency and other parts of the Department of Social Security and all the constituent unions (Public and Commercial Services, First Division Association and Institute of Professional Managers and Specialists). This joint forum has met twice to date and arrangements have been made for regular monthly meetings with senior management within the working age programme on behalf of my right hon. Friends the98W Secretaries of State for Social Security and for Education and Employment. These monthly meetings will be supplemented by additional meetings with the appropriate programme managers to discuss issues of detail.
Union representatives from this forum are also due to meet with Ministers from this Department and from the Department for Education and Employment on 11 December 2000.
Similar arrangements have been put in place with the DSS Trade Union side to discuss matters relating to the setting up of the pensions organisation.