Unions reach deal on new civil service redundancy terms 2 February 2010

2 February 2010
For immedate release

Unions reach deal on new civil service redundancy terms

Five civil service unions - including the FDA - have reached a deal on new civil service redundancy terms after 18 months of intensive negotiations. The arrangements cover almost half a million civil servants from the most junior grades up to Permanent Secretaries, including industrial workers. The FDA is the union representing senior managers and professionals in the civil service.

Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, said:

"The new redundancy terms represent a package that is balanced and, overall, fair to our members. We have been particularly concerned that the terms should take account of the position of low paid civil servants and those close to retirement, and are pleased that they now do so. Although we considered legal action, key parts of the new offer go a significant way to resolving matters likely to be dealt with by any judicial review. It is also unlikely that industrial action, given the improvements secured in recent days, would deliver better terms.

"We did not seek changes to the existing terms, but we recognised that in the current fiscal and political environment there was a requirement for reform. These negotiations have not been easy, and came close to breakdown on several occasions. However, the FDA and the four other unions have been willing to engage, and Tessa Jowell, Civil Service Minister, has taken a constructive approach throughout which finally enabled a deal to be agreed.

"We are opposed to redundancies, and the civil service - in co-operation with the FDA and other civil service unions - has developed a rigorous process designed to ensure that any reduction in jobs is handled without resorting to compulsory redundancies where possible, so far with considerable success. However, no one is under any illusion about the enormous challenges looming for the civil service and the wider public sector. The FDA believes that the new redundancy agreement, together with the rigorous redundancy avoidance process, creates a framework that provides fairness and security for our members in turbulent times."

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, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.
Oliver Rowe, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.