As you know the FDA, alongside PCS and Prospect, met with David Lidington, Minister for the Cabinet Office, and requested that the Civil Service Pay Guidance for 2018 be withdrawn, following a shambolic and contemptible consultation exercise.
The Minister has now responded and, despite apologising for the nature of the consultation exercise, has refused to withdraw it and engage with us meaningfully this year.
The three General Secretaries have now written to Elizabeth Truss, Chief Secretary for the Treasury, the Minister with responsibility for the guidance, requesting a meeting to discuss the guidance and the lack of consultation. We have also agreed a joint statement below, re-affirming our commitment to continue to work together where possible.
It is evident that 2018 is going to be a difficult year for pay across the civil service. Despite the lifting of the pay cap, the pay guidance encourages departments to fast track rises just above 1% meaning, once again, the civil service will be the poor relation in the public sector when it comes to pay outcomes.
We are determined to do all we can to change this. Despite the limitations in the guidance there is scope for departments to make cases around business transformation and/or recruitment and retention, which would deliver better outcomes. Rather than a headlong rush to impose marginally above 1% rises, departments should have been planning for this as it will have come as no surprise to anyone that this would have been the approach of Treasury this year.
Local Government and Health have demonstrated that with a clear vision and commitment to collaborative working with unions, better outcomes can be delivered. This is the approach we are challenging the civil service to adopt, both centrally and within individual employers, and where possible we will work with our colleagues in prospect and PCS to deliver it.
Dave Penman is the General Secretary of the FDA and can be found on Twitter @FDAGenSec.