FDA Public Service Union Suspends Strike Ballot to Begin Talks with Government | Political news
A union representing civil servants has suspended its strike ballot to begin further talks with the government.
The FDA – which represents members of the public service up to the permanent secretary level – made the announcement today.
The move could put pressure on other unions representing civil servants to come back to the bargaining table.
FDA Secretary General Dave Penman said: “The decision to vote for a national wage industrial action was made by the FDA for the first time in 40 years.
“It was intended to send a clear message to government that enough is enough, as they had failed to demonstrate that they valued the public service in the same way as the rest of the public sector. The invitation to talks is the first indication that this message has been heard.
“Industrial action is never an end in itself, it is a means to an end.
“All we asked for was that the public service be treated fairly and with respect – the pay approach in 2023 was a way of demonstrating this.
“The invitation to talks may indicate that the government intends to change its approach to remuneration for this year and we must do everything we can to ensure that whatever opportunities this presents, we try to to deliver the best possible result to our members.
“If not, then the union is ready to take the ballot for the industrial action we have prepared.”
The FDA said it would launch the ballot in April, following a government wage offer of between 4.5% and 5%.
The threat of action also comes amid deteriorating relations between the civil service and ministers – with ministers saying civil servants are informing them and working against them.
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Earlier this month, Mr Penman told the union conference: ‘Now having been told you are a lazy, woke, ineffectual, rest, militant, snowflake, you are also now apparently a genius Machiavellian, capable of overthrowing ministers and undermining the sedentary will of the government.
“I don’t know about you, conference, but I’ve had enough of this.”