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Thursday 12 November 2020

Fast Stream pay settlement: What it means for you

By Steven Littlewood

We are pleased to announce that following a pay ballot in which 92% of members voted to accept the Cabinet Office/FSET 2020-21 Fast Stream Pay Offer it will now be paid in your November salary.

This pay deal represents a very significant improvement in the structure of Fast Stream Pay.

As we had long argued, the previous structure was extremely cumbersome and complex, making it difficult for Fast Stream pay to be incrementally improved which led to a long period of stagnant pay levels whilst other Civil Service employees benefited from annual pay awards.        

These changes bring in a new structure which addresses some of the structural problems in Fast Stream pay which provoked the pay dispute in the first place. The main structural improvements are:

  • All Civil Servants currently on the Fast Stream will see an increase in the pay that they will receive during their time on the scheme (either in the current year or in future years)
  • The rapid development in skills, knowledge and responsibility demanded of those on the Fast Stream and assessed through EPRs will now be rewarded with a pay uplift after each year of postings, including those on a four-year scheme;
  • The issue of annual Fast Stream Pay awards being wiped out almost immediately by the mid scheme uplift will be eliminated and replaced by an annual uplift of over 3% per year;
  • For the first time we have secured a commitment that Fast Stream spot rates will be reviewed according to agreed principles, including benchmarking to other graduate schemes and wider civil service pay, every two years, with the first review to be completed by September 2022;
  • We have secured FSET’s commitment to an Equality Impact Assessment of the new structure.
  • The new structure provides certainty in an uncertain time. While mainstream civil servants are unsure about what lies ahead in terms of their pay and whether it will increase at all, Fast Stream civil servants now have a secure pay structure with annual progression.

Additionally, in the short term:

  • Once this issue is resolved, pay uplifts can be paid (and back-paid where appropriate) in November pay packets;
  • Current Year 3 Fast Stream staff will receive a one-off non-consolidated payment of £200 in recognition of the hardship caused by the length of the dispute. The initial offer did not provide any additional payment for Year 3 staff but the FDA pay team was able to secure a non-consolidated payment in a second offer and then to increase this to £200 in the final offer.

What does it mean for me?

We have put together the following breakdown of what you will receive based on where you are on the scheme.

Current posting year

Current position in pay band

New spot rate system





Increase in future pay on the scheme (Y2 and, if on a four-year scheme, Y4) by up to £2500 total

Your current salary will remain at £28,000 but following successful completion of EPR you will now progress to an uplifted salary of £29,250 on the anniversary of your start date. This represents a 4.5% increase to pay.




Your salary will be increased to £29,250. This represents a 4.5% increase in current pay by £1,250, backdated to beginning of posting year;

Increase in future (Y4) pay if on a four-year scheme by a further £1,250

Previously, the Year 2 salary increase was allocated through Cabinet Office pay negotiations. Last year this was 1.5% and has varied between 1-2% in earlier years which means that the current offer represents a significant improvement.




Payment of existing (delayed) mid-scheme uplift, backdated to beginning of posting year

£200 non-consolidated payment

Increase in future (Y4) pay if on a four-year scheme by £1,250




Your salary will be increased to £33,250. This represents a 3.9% increase in current pay by £1,250, backdated to beginning of posting year

Pay above spot rate due to retained salary from previous Civil Service role


2% non-consolidated uplift

2% non-consolidated uplift

What if I’m on a part time contract on the Fast Stream?

The new spot rate will be applied to you pro rata. So if you are working 0.75FTE you will receive 75% of the new spot rate.

If you have any questions about how this pay offer will affect you, please get in touch with me at steven@fda.org.uk.

Get Involved!

It has been a long road from the introduction of the centralised fast stream in 2013 as a four-year scheme with a flat £27,000 salary to the new system of annual increments and guaranteed bi-annual, benchmarked revaluations.

The FDA and its members have fought and won each improvement to the scheme and will continue to do so. As we have previously stated, we are pleased that this deal allows us to consolidate our gains, but our work is not done and we are already preparing for the next scheme revaluation in 2022.

If you would like to get more involved in our work on pay please contact me on steven@fda.org.uk. With our members behind us we will continue to go from strength to strength.

Steven Littlewood is the FDA National Officer for the Fast Stream
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