Civil Service union FDA votes to ballot members on strike action over pay dispute
The FDA executive committee has voted to launch a national ballot for industrial action, the first in more than 40 years. The vote is in response to the government’s civil service pay remit guidance, which suggested a 4.5%-5% pay increase for civil service workers.
The union has taken issue with other public sectors being offered backdated pay to compensate for the year 2022/23. Those in education received £1000 backdated compensation and £1600 for NHS workers.
FDA General Secretary, Dave Penman, said: “In my 23 years at the FDA and 10 years as General Secretary, I have never found myself so utterly at a loss as to why the government would want to treat our members and the rest of the civil service in this way. If this is, as I suspect, a tactical decision to use the civil service to send a message elsewhere then not only is it a flawed one but once again demonstrates that there are those in government who do not value the civil service in the way they do the rest of the public sector.
“The FDA is a strong, pragmatic union and our approach with employers has always been led by evidence, persuasion and engagement. There’s now no pretence that the Government places any value in constructive dialogue, with no meaningful engagement on the substance of the ‘offer’, despite repeated assurances of an enhanced consultation process.”
Mr. Penman added:“The Government is sending the clearest possible signal that it wants to treat the civil service differently from the rest of the public sector. That value, or lack of it, can even now be quantified by a number, rather than an anonymous briefing or a condescending note on someone’s desk.
“That, ultimately, is why the Executive Committee has decided to ballot for industrial action. We want to send the clearest signal – a signal that FDA members, who pride themselves on their belief in pragmatism and engagement, are left with no choice when a government treats them in this way.”
The FDA’s membership includes civil service policy advisers, diplomats, lawyers, tax professionals, economists, statisticians and museum curators.