FAQs

I can look after myself, why should I join?

FDA members are skilled, professional people. More than 18,000 of your colleagues recognise that if they come across problems at work, they need the professional assistance of the union. A good example of this is that a third of the FDA's membership is made up of lawyers. Although they can represent others in their day job, they want help from the experts when they need to be represented themselves. The FDA has a wide range of experience in representing the most senior staff in the civil and public service.

How much does it cost?

Subscriptions to the FDA are determined by your basic salary in any given month.  Each year the membership itself agrees the subscription rate at our Annual Delegate Conference. For more detail, please click on the following link: Subscription rates.

Don't I get the benefits anyway?

To have a say or to influence vitally important issues like pay, promotion, policy and pensions you need the FDA and the FDA needs you. You should recognise that on these topics your department will not discuss matters individually with staff, but instead with the trade unions.

Can't I just wait to see if and when I need to join the FDA?

You are welcome to join the FDA at any time in your career. However, if you decide to join us only when you have an issue at work we will not be able to help you on any pre-existing matters.

Does the FDA go on strike?

Trade union members have the option of looking at strike action when negotiations break down, but it is certainly not something that the FDA embarks on lightly. On 30 November 2011, for the first time its history FDA members took strike action following a national ballot, as part of the TUC Day of Action on public sector pensions. A total of 81% of FDA members who voted in the ballot to support industrial action voted 'Yes', with a ballot turnout of 54%.

In 2005, we also balloted members for strike action against the proposed changes to the civil service pension scheme. However, before the strike was due to take place the proposals were amended and the reasons for the strike were taken away, so members did not have to take action.

Who can join the FDA?

The FDA specialises in representing senior staff working in civil service departments, agencies, quangos, public bodies and the National Health Service. For full details click here.

What is ARC?

The Association of Revenue and Customs, to give it its full title, is both a section of the FDA and an independent trade union in its own right. ARC represents all FDA grades in HM Revenue and Customs.

If I join ARC, am I still an FDA member?

Yes. Members of ARC are also full members of the FDA, with access to the same benefits and services. ARC members receive their own specialist publication, ARC News, as well as Public Service Magazine.

What is Keystone?

Keystone extends the benefits of FDA membership to HEO, SEO and related civil service grades. For more information, visit Keystone's website at www.wearekeystone.org.uk

What is Managers in Partnership?

Managers in Partnership, or MiP, is the FDA's joint venture with Unison that represents healthcare managers. For more, go to MiP's website at www.miphealth.org.uk

I am on secondment. Can I still be a member?

Yes. Staff on secondment can remain members of the FDA for as long as they are employed in the UK public service.

If I am moved overseas, can I remain a member?

Yes. If you are posted abroad, we will be happy to mail FDA correspondence to your new address for as long as you remain employed in the UK public service. Remember to let us know your full address.

I am a Fast Streamer. Do I have to pay the full sub rate?

All Fast Streamers are placed in subscription band FS, which is currently £12.00 a month for FDA members and £12.25 for ARC members. And if you are a Fast Streamer joining the FDA for the first time, you pay nothing for six months.

I work part time. Do I get a reduction?

If - as a result of working part time - your gross salary is less than £15,500, you can take advantage of the band 0 rate of £6.50 per month. If you are changing your working hours to part time, please email our membership section as soon as possible.

I am taking a career break/going on maternity/maternity support/long-term sick leave. What happens to my subscriptions?

Subscriptions can be suspended for all or part of your time away from work, which may vary depending on the type of leave/break you are taking. For further details contact our Membership Secretary on 020 7401 5590 or email: membership@fda.org.uk

Can I claim back tax from my FDA subscriptions?

Subscriptions to trade unions and other comparable bodies are not deductible for tax even where membership is required by the employer (Section 336 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003). The expense is not incurred in the performance of the duties. Nor is it necessarily incurred.

Can I pay my subs direct from my salary?

No. Unfortunately, changes to employment legislation and the high charges levied by Government pay offices make this impractical. We can only accept payment from new members by monthly direct debit.

When will the payments be collected?

Subscription payments to the FDA are taken a month in arrears and will be collected from your nominated bank account on, or shortly after, the first of the month.

What happens if my salary changes?

In order to ensure their membership rights are protected, members must notify the membership department at FDA's head office if their salary changes in such a way that their subscription band changes.

If my salary decreases, am I entitled to a subscription refund?

Where a member's pensionable pay in any month is such that their pro rata annual salary would entitle the member to pay at a lesser rate than that represented by their full annual salary, the member shall, on request, be charged that lesser rate for that month.

Where such a request is made, any refund shall be limited to amounts overpaid in the twelve months immediately preceding the request.

What should I do if there is a mistake with my direct debit?

If you think we have made a mistake in collecting your subscription payments, contact our membership section immediately on 020 7401 5590.

I am leaving the public service. Can I remain a member of the FDA?

If you are retiring or leaving the public service, you can become an Associate member. For more information, please click on the following link: Associate membership.

How can I cancel my membership?

The FDA needs to have your instruction to cancel your membership in writing. Please email membership@fda.org.uk or write to:

Membership Secretary
FDA
8 Leake Street
London
SE1 7NN