§ Angela Eagle
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to conclude a partnership agreement with the trade unions representing the staff in his Department. 
§ Maria Eagle
The Department is about to introduce new arrangements for ensuring its trade unions are kept fully informed and are consulted about developments 93W affecting staff, and for granting trade union representatives time off from their official duties. These arrangements reflect a commitment to work within the spirit of the partnership agreement between the Cabinet Office and the Council of Civil Service Unions (CCSU), which was signed in March 2000, arid guidance on best practice provided to employers by the Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service (ACAS). Once these new arrangements have been tested, we will consider our approach to a formal partnership agreement with the Department's trade unions.