Government must take action on pay and reward or risk an exodus of key staff, says FDA

19 June 2013

The Government must take on board the findings of a report published today by the National Audit Office (NAO) says the FDA, the union that represents 19,000 senior managers and professionals in the public service.

The report - Building capability in the Senior Civil Service to meet today’s challenges - revealed senior civil servants had suffered “a real terms pay cut of 17.4% between April 2009 and March 2013” and that changes to pensions and bonus payments means that the erosion in the value of the total pay package “will be even greater”.

The report also found a “widening pay gap between public and private sector pay [which] risks making it increasingly difficult for the SCS to recruit and retain the best people” and that the proportion of external recruits from the private sector has “decreased sharply since 2009-10”.

FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said: “The Government needs to take action on pay and reward for senior civil servants or, as the NAO’s report warns, ‘risk an exodus of the most talented and marketable senior people’ it most needs to deliver its programme of change.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that lack of action to address the issue of pay and reward for senior civil servants could have serious consequences for delivering reform. We need to ensure that the Government has the capability that it needs to be able to successfully respond to the challenges that it will face in the coming years.”

The FDA recently outlined a number of recommendations for addressing the issue of civil service reform in our alternative White Paper Delivering for the Nation: Securing a World-Class Civil Service. The NAO joins others such as the Senior Salaries Review Body and the Civil Service Commission in urging the Government to take action.

Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 19,000 senior civil servants, government policy advisors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors, prosecutors 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 www.fda.org.uk.

4. Read the FDA alternative White Paper, Delivering for the Nation: Securing a World-Class Civil Service.

5. For further information contact:
• Dave Penman, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.
• Kay Hender, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07980 700747.
• Diana Ruthven, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07791 040394.