14 November 2011
(for immediate release)
In a ballot turnout of 54%, FDA members have voted decisively in favour of industrial action, in the current dispute over the Government's plans to reform public sector pension arrangements, the union said today. 81% of those who voted were in favour of industrial action. The FDA is likely at a meeting tomorrow to call upon its members to take strike action as part of the TUC Day of Action on 30 November.
Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, said:
"This is a decisive vote for industrial action, but this ballot should not have been necessary. No one has worked harder than the FDA to seek a negotiated settlement, often in the face of Government delay and procrastination. The improvements to the Government's reform proposals announced by Danny Alexander on 2 November are welcome, but we are making only limited progress because the Treasury has yet to provide clarity about what the proposals mean in detail.
"We are committed to securing pension arrangements that are both fair to our members and that continue to be sustainable. The FDA has only once before held a national strike ballot, and our members regard industrial action as the very last resort. So the Government needs to reflect upon why senior public servants feel driven to vote to strike.
"Many FDA members face a pay cut of up to 6% over the next three years because of the pensions levy - in the context of a pay freeze and high inflation, this is a cut in living standards of up to one fifth. There is also considerable anger that the Government's change - without consultation or negotiation - of the index for uprating pensions from RPI to CPI means a reduction of at least 15% in their real value before any further changes are implemented.
"The FDA Executive Committee will meet tomorrow, but my expectation is that we will be calling upon our members to join with millions of other public sector workers in the TUC Day of Action on 30 November. We will nonetheless continue to negotiate in good faith."
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.