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Media update: 17 May 2013

FDA mentions

16 and 17 May

Public Administration Select Committee chair Bernard Jenkin's speech to yesterday's Annual Delegate Conference, calling for a Parliamentary Commission on the future of the civil service, was mentioned in yesterday's Telegraph and today's Financial Times, and online in the Guardian Public Leaders Network, Public Servant and the Glasgow Herald.

In a piece by Whitehall columnist Sue Cameron written prior to Jenkin's speech, the Telegraph refers to Jenkin "making common cause with Dave Penman, the canny Scot who heads the FDA, the mandarins’ trade union". 

The article states that Jenkin was to make a "tub-thumping speech to the FDA’s annual conference castigat[ing] Mr Maude’s reform plan, saying it fails to address the fundamental question of what the civil service is for. It is not based on any particular vision, he claims, but is simply the product of a series of rows, blunders and public disagreements with officials that date back to the last government."

Read the full article:

Mauling for Maude over his plans for change
The Telegraph


 

The Financial Times referred to Jenkins's speech "to the First Division Association of senior civil servants, blam[ing] civil service deficiencies on a failure by ministers of all parties to provide 'the necessary effective leadership'."

Read the full article:

Senior MP calls for inquiry into future of civil service
The Financial Times


 

The Guardian Public Leaders Network reported that "speaking at the annual conference of the FDA union, which represents senior public servants, Jenkin recommended that an inquiry similar to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards be launched in order to discuss 'what should follow the civil service reform plan'... Jenkin... also said that any reform must be underlined by a "reverence" for the civil service among ministers. He said at the moment some ministers believed that "the civil service was to blame" for poor performance in government."

Read the full article:

Jenkin calls for parliamentary commission on future of civil service
Guardian Public Leaders Network


 

Public Servant covered Penman's inaugural speech as FDA General Secretary. The article reported Penman's insistence that the civil service was "not simply an alternative means to reduce the deficit". Calling increased working hours for new senior civil servants "meaningless, dogmatic and insulting", Penman conceded that this was "the toughest of times to be a public servant and a union representative". Promising that the FDA would "rise to the challenges that lie ahead", Penman said: "This government has picked a fight with civil servants over issues that can only be described as political dogma rather than austerity."

Read the full article:

Fight with civil service is 'political dogma'
Public Servant 

 


The Glasgow Herald online also reported on Penman's speech: "The Government has picked a fight with Whitehall for reasons of 'political dogma rather than austerity', the leader of the senior civil servants' union has said.

FDA general secretary Dave Penman accused ministers of "insulting" officials by increasing the amount of hours they are expected to work when most were already far exceeding that.

In his speech to the union's conference, Mr Penman said civil servants had been the victims of a "political fiction" that their pay and conditions were too generous. He said: "This Government has picked a fight with civil servants over issues where it can only be described as political dogma rather than austerity."

Cuts to facility time, where officials were allowed to work on union issues, were a "reaction to what they see as growing militancy".

Mr Penman added: "All of the evidence, including the Government's own, shows how far behind the total reward package is for FDA members compared with comparable roles elsewhere in the public sector, never mind the private sector."

Read the full article:

Civil service austerity drive 'political dogma'
The Glasgow Herald

General interest

16 May

Why I'm pleased my stepdaughter won't apply to the civil service
Guardian Public Leaders Network

 

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