The FDA has pressed for a fundamental review of the pay and reward system for SCS members -- which many view as opaque, unfair and demotivating

Senior Civil Service

We represent many members of the Senior Civil Service (SCS) - those who occupy senior posts in the civil service from assistant director to permanent secretary level. 

We work closely with the Cabinet Office and the Senior Salaries Review Body to advance the interests of the SCS on pay, promotions and performance management systems.

We seek to:

  • Promote the SCS - particularly the importance of their roles at the top of government and their professionalism and skills
  • Ensure fair and transparent pay and performance management arrangements are in place
  • Monitor whether promotions are fair and based on merit
  • Advocate and facilitate proper skills development

Influencing SCS pay and bonuses

We have long argued that the SCS pay system is no longer 'fit for purpose'. In recent years the FDA has pressed for a fundamental review of the pay and reward system for SCS members -- which many view as opaque, unfair and demotivating.  

The SCS is similarly impacted by the Government's two-year pay freeze as the rest of the public sector. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when long awaited reform was intended to be implemented, following the report by Sir David Normington in November 2008 and the work done since to consider the implementation of his recommendations.

We will continue to work with the Cabinet Office to try to put together a package of reform that will seek to address the concerns many members have over a pay system that, over the past ten years, has created inequalities, resentment and failed in the most basic of tasks to reward fairly and motivate the SCS.


Each year, the FDA and its sister union, Prospect, survey our SCS members on issues such as pay, bonuses, performance management systems, working hours and other issues.

We compile these results along with commentary and analysis and submit them as evidence to the SSRB, which issues a report the following year with recommendations to Government on pay and bonus levels for the SCS. 

The Government is expected to accept these recommendations, but sometimes it does not -- to the dismay of the FDA and the SSRB. 

More on SCS pay