FDA condemns Government’s ‘hypocrisy in its most brutal and blatant form’ in denying unions statutory electronic balloting

Tuesday 15 September 2015
(For immediate release)

Following the Second Reading of the Trade Union Bill being passed in the House of Commons yesterday, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman spoke to support a motion condemning the Bill at TUC Congress today.

Penman said: "You can access public services, book a flight, order your shopping and carry out any number of everyday tasks via the internet, but union members are denied the ability to take part in statutory ballots online."

He condemned the Conservative Government's "hypocrisy in its most brutal and blatant form", quoting both former Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude's comments in the Civil Service Reform plan that "Government must become a digital organisation", and Business Minister Sajid Javid's statement that "At the heart of this Bill it is all about democracy and accountability".

Penman added: "This Government has no answer when it comes to why it will not introduce ballot reform. Current Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock, when pressed yesterday, said he didn't rule it out. Sorry Minister, we demand that you rule it in.

"I urge the TUC to expose the hypocrisy of a Government steeped in Orwellian double-speak, intent on denying the most basic democratic rights to union members."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. The FDA can be described as "the senior public servants' union" and should be referred to simply as "The FDA".

3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.

4. For further information contact:

· Dave Penman, FDA General Secretary, tel: 07967 503827.

· Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 07980 700747.