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Thu, 28 January 2021

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Chancellor urged to address civil service pay or risk undermining vital public services

Chancellor urged to address civil service pay or risk undermining vital public services

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Public services are at risk unless the Government takes action on civil service pay, Philip Hammond has been warned.

A new poll from the FDA union suggested Whitehall could be heading for a recruitment crisis, with one in three civil servants saying they want to leave their jobs "as soon as possible". 

The FDA Pay Survey of almost 2,000 public sector leaders showed 83% are unhappy with the overall pay arrangements in the civil service and more than two-thirds (68%) are aware of recruitment and/or retention difficulties in their organisation.
The majority of staff (60%) say their morale has decreased over the course of the last year, with only six per cent feeling more positive about their role.
And over 85% of respondents said they did not believe that their organisation is sufficiently resourced to meet the challenges facing it in the year ahead.

Some FDA members first saw their pay frozen in 2010, with the 1% cap on pay rises introduced in 2012 set to continue until at least the end of the decade. Combined with other changes to their terms and conditions, some civil servants have now experienced a real terms pay cut of over 20%. 
The union called on the government to use this week's Queen’s Speech to signal a reset on public sector pay and resourcing. 
Dave Penman, the FDA’s general secretary, has written to the Chancellor and Cabinet Office minister Damian Green warning that public services will be "undermined" unless ministers change their approach to civil service pay.

“Our survey found that a third of civil servants say they would like to leave the civil service as soon as possible," he said. 

"Even more concerning is the view expressed by 86% of respondents that their department is not sufficiently resourced to meet the challenges it will face in the year ahead.  

“Members also highlight problems in recruiting new staff and retaining those who are recruited. The universal reason provided is dissatisfaction with ‘pay’… Failure to recruit and the high turnover of staff is wasteful and inefficient and, in many areas, is getting in the way of successful delivery.”


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