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Wednesday 05 July 2017

FDA tells ministers to put their money where their mouth is over public sector pay

Writing directly to cabinet ministers who have voiced support for ending the out of date 1% cap on public sector pay, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has said that "warm words" will not be enough and must be followed up with "concrete action".

Letters have been sent to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, all of whom have voiced support for ending the cap following the general election.

Whilst much of the debate has focussed on pay review bodies, pay for delegated grades in the civil service is decided by collective bargaining and each Secretary of State has responsibility for the pay remit submitted to HM Treasury on behalf of their department.

This gives each of these ministers the unique opportunity to demonstrate that they understand the economic pressures their staff face and directly make the case for ending the pay cap.

Penman said: "FDA members will welcome the warm words from a number of cabinet ministers over lifting the public sector pay cap. But warm words won't pay the bills. The majority of civil servants are not covered by pay review bodies and so those very same ministers have it within their control to lift the pay cap for civil servants in their department.

"We have today written to those ministers, calling on them to follow up their words with action. If they believe the pay cap should be lifted, then they can begin with the civil servants in their departments who support them as ministers and deliver vital public services.

"Each of these ministers will have sign off on the pay settlement for their staff this year. They cannot hide behind pay review bodies with restricted remits. Failure to act will demonstrate these warm words were little more than meaningless platitudes."

The FDA recognises that public services need to be delivered as efficiently as possible but civil servants have already delivered billions of pounds of efficiency savings since 2010 and continue to do so.

Penman added: "Unlocking the pay cap for civil servants can be the catalyst for dialogue around a shared agenda leading to long-term pay reform. This will ultimately deliver benefits to both public services and public servants."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals at grade HEO and above. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, diplomats, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.

2. 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".

3. The letters to cabinet ministers can be viewed at the links below:

Letter to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
Letter to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
Letter to Environment Secretary Michael Gove
Letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
4. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.

5. For further information contact the FDA Communications team on 020 7401 5589.

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