After reform of MPs' pay, civil servants deserve better than sticking plaster approach from review body, says FDA


Responding to the publication of the Senior Salaries Review Body's (SSRB's) recommendations for Senior Civil Service pay and the Government's response, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said:

"The independent pay review body for MPs led the way last year in producing thorough, evidence-based recommendations that looked at all the issues, not just what would be acceptable to headline writers. Faced with similar evidence, the SSRB has once again proposed inadequate tinkering with the pay system for senior civil servants, despite knowing that the system has failed.

"With a gender pay gap that seems cast in stone, hundreds of senior civil servants being paid less than the staff they manage and external recruits being paid an average of £20,000 more a year, it's no wonder that morale and motivation levels remain subterranean.

"Yet once again, we have only concern and sticking plasters from the SSRB; no proposals for reform and no sense of urgency to which the Government would feel obliged to respond.

"The FDA called on the SSRB to be bold and our members called on it to address the unfairness. The Government cannot preside over a pay review system that is independent for MPs, yet willfully ignore similar evidence when it comes to its own staff.

"The Government expects a lot from the leadership of the civil service: it's time they were able to expect a fair deal in return. If the review body approach cannot deliver, an alternative way forward needs to be found."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at

4. For further information contact:

  • Dave Penman, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
  • Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07980 700747.