Union welcomes senior Northern Ireland civil servants' pay review

11 June 2009

For immediate release

Union welcomes senior Northern Ireland civil servants' pay review

The independent review of pay arrangements for senior civil servants in Northern Ireland announced today by Finance Minister Nigel Dodds, has been welcomed by the FDA, the union that represents senior managers and professionals in the Civil Service.

Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, said:

"We have long campaigned for a fundamental reform of the Senior Civil Service (SCS) pay system, which is clearly not fit for purpose. This was accepted by the Senior Salaries Review Body in 2007 and we are still waiting for the recommendations of the review undertaken last year by Sir David Normington to be implemented.

"As the union that represents members of the SCS, we have made repeated - but fruitless - requests for dialogue about the future of the SCS pay system. We now look forward to being consulted about, and having an opportunity to contribute to, this review.

"The current system, which prioritises non-pensionable, performance-related bonuses over reasonable cost-of-living increases, was introduced to save the Government money and suppress pay levels. We now have a situation where the UK Government's own evidence suggests that similar roles outside of the civil service are paid up to twice as much.

"It must also be understood that the current system of SCS bonuses, which politicians have recently criticised, bears little relationship to bonuses in the private sector. Instead, everyone's pay is slightly reduced and then the money collected is re-distributed on the basis of their performance. Some get back more than was cut, others less."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and 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. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. 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".

4. For further information contact:

Jonathan Baume, General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.

Oliver Rowe, Communications Officer, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.