FOR SENIOR Ready, steady

,
MANAGERS AND Brexit!
PROFESSIONALS
Whitehall’s biggest
peacetime challenge

Annual conference
2017
FDA subscriptions frozen
for five years

@FDA_union
@We_are_keystone
SUMMER 2017

Britain needs a
strong civil service
Now more than ever
Keystone: fully opening up the benefits of
FDA membership to HEOs and SEOs.

Help strengthen your union and share information on
the benefits, career development and support provided
for your HEO or SEO colleagues.
Find out more, including how to join, at: wearekeystone.org.uk
In this issue
Don’t forget you can follow your union on Twitter
@FDA_union @We_are_keystone

Welcome

Craig Ryan, Editor
Some of you may have
been around long enough
to notice that mine is not
an entirely new face. After
a gap of 17 years, I’m back
in the editor’s chair for a
year while Kay Hender is on maternity
16 24
leave – congratulations to Kay and FDA
General Secretary Dave Penman on the Organising  4 Features
birth of their daughter Mollie in March. The FDA’s new Organiser, Alan Bailey, Annual Delegate Conference
I certainly picked a lively time for a introduces himself and anticipates a 2017 16
comeback. Since the last issue, we’ve busy schedule of events this summer. Full reports from the FDA’s annual
seen a snap election with a shock result, Plus: New Women into Leadership conference and the launch of the union’s
the shaky formation of a minority events for 2017.
government, a (sort of) Queen’s Speech, new campaign for a strong civil service.
a (sort of) cabinet reshuffle, despicable Breaking point 20
terrorist attacks in London and Events & FDA Learn 7
Ken Mulkearn says rising prices and
Manchester, the unspeakable tragedy Vicky Johnson on chairing Women into
growing staff shortages could spell the
at Grenfell Tower and the starting gun Leadership Cardiff.
finally fired on the Brexit talks. end of the Government’s public sector
Neil Ryder introduces new learning
All of this underlines why public pay policy.
opportunities for FDA and Keystone
service has never been more vital and
members in Scotland. Direct assistance 22
valuable than it is right now. Which is
what the FDA’s new campaign – “Britain Matt Foster on how tough negotiating
needs a strong civil service” – is all Work8 and legal action won thousands of
about. Enjoy this issue and send me your An insight into one member’s working pounds in compensation for FDA
comments at craig.ryan@fda.org.uk. life, and another’s alternative career. members in the Crown Prosecution
Plus: our round-up of the latest civil Service.
Published by FDA
service starters, movers and leavers.
Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London SE1 7NQ The clock’s still ticking 24
T: 020 7401 5555
www.fda.org.uk | info@fda.org.uk
Craig Ryan probes whether the civil
News10 service has the time and resources it
Acting Editor – Craig Ryan Conference freezes FDA subscriptions needs to deliver Brexit.
T: 01453 828888 | craig.ryan@fda.org.uk for five years; New government
prunes manifesto pledges; FDA praises
Staff writers – Tommy Newell, Matt Foster Crossword 27
T: 020 7401 5588 | psm@fda.org.uk “professional” civil service after election
shock; Union slams “cowardly” attacks
Design – Chapman Design
Books28
on civil servants; Association of
T: 01273 236932 | info@chapmandesign.net Michael Jago’s biography of Robin Butler;
Revenue and Customs conference 2017
Polly Toynbee and David Walker’s
Advertising – Simon Briant
SDB Marketing
broadside on the break up of Britain’s
Opinion14 public services; plus our selection of
T: 01273 594455 | simon@sdbmarketing.co.uk
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman other recent reads.
Printers – Captiv8 UK Ltd looks beyond the Westminister bubble
T: 01892 611500 www.captiv8uk.co.uk
to what politics and public service are
All articles © Public Service Magazine 2017 or the author. The
Members’ small ads 30
contents may not be reproduced without permission. Writers’
supposed to be about.
views are not necessarily those of Public Service Magazine or
the FDA. ISSN 1460-8936

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 3
Organising
Organising across departments throughout the UK

Alan Bailey, who It was a busy start for me, attending Main picture: Sue Hollywood-Powell,
replaced Rebecca the 2017 Annual Delegate Conference Keystone Organiser; Alan Bailey, FDA
Billington as FDA in my first week (see page 16) and then Organiser.  Inset: Jawad Raza, National
Organiser in May, preparing for our recruitment activity Officer; Rob O’Neill, Assistant General
sets out his stall at Civil Service Live events across the Secretary; Tami Richardson, Project
and looks ahead to country. I’m looking forward to meeting Co-ordinator; Sue Hollywood-Powell;
Wynne Parry, National Officer; Alan Bailey.
the union’s busy members and talking about the issues
events calendar this summer. that matter to them, supporting reps
and working on finding ways to make it
It’s very exciting to have started work at easier for members to play an active role involved), so please share them by email
the FDA. My background isn’t in the FDA in their union. to organiser@fda.org.uk.
or the civil service; my previous roles If you are interested in getting more
have been in the student movement, involved I would love to hear from What is organising?
working with local students’ unions and you. I’m also very keen to hear your Organising may seem a bit abstract but,
the National Union of Students, and experiences and thoughts on getting in a practical sense, it’s really about
with Unison as the branch secretary for a involved in the union (including any empowering members to take an active
large higher education branch. reasons that stop you from getting part in their union and thus increasing

4 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Organising

the collective strength, capacity and
effectiveness of the union.
There are many barriers that can stop
members from getting more involved,
and we need to identify them and
be creative about overcoming them.
The FDA has an incredibly skilled
membership and our collective potential
is even greater still. The more members
we engage with, the more effective
we will be at representing members,
addressing workplace issues and
improving conditions, both locally and
nationally.

Getting involved
‘Strength through unity’ is a common COME AND
slogan for trade unions and, while it MEET US AT
might seem a bit of a cliché, it’s true. On WOMEN INTO
an individual level, union work gives LEADERSHIP
opportunities for personal development, Looking ahead
especially for reps and branch officers. In
2017 is set to be the busiest year yet Belfast | 27th July 2017
the short time I’ve been here, I’ve already
met reps who are gaining new skills for Women into Leadership (WiL), London | 20th September
through the work they do for the FDA. with additional dates and locations
It’s important to stress that if you confirmed across the UK. Leeds | 19th October
become a rep or branch officer you will
not be left to figure everything out for
Last year saw WiL come to London for the
yourself. Training is available for new speakers representing all grades and levels
seventh time, and marked the first time
reps, and branches get support from from within and outside the civil service.
the conference series reached Scotland
national officers and people like me. You
and Leeds. Following the success of these
will also get a lot of support from your WiL Cardiff and WiL Scotland were
events, this year sees a further expansion
fellow reps and branch officers. One of resounding successes, with attendees
– with WiL returning to Scotland and
my key jobs as FDA Organiser is to look at hearing from the likes of Leanne Wood,
Leeds alongside new events in Cardiff and
how we can better support and develop Leader of Plaid Cymru, and Leslie Evans,
Belfast, giving people from across all parts
our reps and branches. Permanent Secretary of the Scottish
of the UK the opportunity to attend.
Being a rep isn’t the only way to Government (pictured above).
get involved. If you can give some of
All WiL events offer hands-on advice and
your time, even occasionally on an Further information can be found at www.
coaching to women on how to further
ad hoc basis, that really helps. Think womenintoleadership.co.uk, where you can
develop their career, with inspirational
about how you might be able to help register to attend your nearest event.
or what skills you have that would be
useful to the branch. You could write
an article for a newsletter or help with unparalleled opportunity to promote
recruiting members, either on a stall the many benefits of belonging to the If you are interested in becoming
or just by advocating for the union in union, as well as raising our profile
more active in your branch,
conversations with colleagues. However across the civil service and giving us
you feel able to help, it all adds to the the chance to speak with hundreds please contact your local branch
strength of your branch and the FDA as of civil servants whom we might not officer (you will find their details
a whole. normally reach. This year, the 2017 Civil on the My FDA page on the FDA
Get in touch with your local rep or Service Live roadshow will take us to website), or email
branch secretary and find out what Belfast, Manchester, Gateshead, Cardiff, organiser@fda.org.uk for more
issues the branch is working on and Birmingham, Edinburgh and London, information.
what opportunities there are for you to and we hope to recruit many more new
get involved. members. If you are attending any of
these events please come to the FDA/
Civil Service Live Keystone stand or, better still, bring
Civil Service Live is one of the biggest a non-member with you so that we
events in the FDA and Keystone’s can talk to them about the benefits of
organising calendar, giving us an becoming an FDA member.

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 5
FDA Events

Women into
Leadership

Vicky Johnson, further ajar than you think”, encouraging you are best at”. While this may seem
President of the them to aspire to achieving further obvious, it was borne out in one of
FDA’s HM Revenue promotions. the breakout sessions led by Keela
and Customs Preparing for retirement, Claire Clancy, Shackell-Smith, who spoke about
section, reflects chief executive and clerk of the National taking a job in finance because she
on her experience Assembly for Wales, spoke of the joys and thought that she should, and finding
as chair of Women tribulations of leadership. She reflected she was at sea most of the time!
into Leadership Cardiff in on some of the mistakes she had made The panel discussion produced some
March this year. putting work ahead of life, and how she searching questions and some honest
might not do that now. She ended with answers about career paths outside of
Women into Leadership Cardiff was a a quote from Amelia Earhart, telling the London. Shan urged attendees to “break
special event for me – not only did it audience: “decide then whether or not the glass ceiling, feel the air and get hold
mark the first time that the conference the goal is worth the risks involved. If it of your confidence” – an exhortation
series has come to Wales, but it was also is, stop worrying.” which was very well received by the
the first time I’ve chaired a Women into A session led by Shan Morgan, room.
Leadership event. Permanent Secretary to the Welsh The final speaker was Leanne Wood,
The expansion of Women into Government, was titled ‘How I got here leader of Plaid Cymru, who told the
Leadership across the UK is a testament and how you can too’. Shan focused audience that if we want to bring about
to the high quality speakers and on the choices you can make about change, we have to make our voices
attendees the conference attracts, and the jobs you take. She firmly believes heard and keep working to inspire
Cardiff was no different. Delegates that “you are likely to do best at what the next generation of women into
heard from Claire Moriarty, Permanent leadership.
Secretary at DEFRA, who spoke about her Reflecting on the range of thoughts
career journey – from how she handled we had heard from the brilliant line-up
her first week on the job to becoming a Decide whether of speakers, I closed the conference by
Permanent Secretary. Claire believes in or not the goal is asking everyone there to become the
‘bringing yourself to work’ – this means change they wanted to see by taking
giving a little away about yourself so you
worth the risks these messages back to their workplace
are real to those who work for you. She involved — if it is, and encouraging people to attend a
also told attendees that “the door may be stop worrying future Women into Leadership event.

6 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Upcoming
courses
Find out about all the latest FDA
Learn/Keyskills events and
book your place at: bit.ly/fda-
workshops
’Lean In' to your Career With
Confidence
19 July 2017, Cardiff
Explore why it’s important for women
to keep challenging themselves and
show how to build confidence and
competence.

New learning Performance in Presentation
28 July 2017, London

opportunities for Get the tools and techniques to
incorporate performance skills into

members in Scotland
presentations and communications.
Effective Networking
19 & 21 August 2017, Cardiff
Increase the impact and effectiveness
Neil Rider explains interviews, using practical exercises to of your networking approach.
how FDA Learn master every stage of the process. We’ve How to Have a More Productive
and Keyskills so far run courses at HMRC Bathgate, Working Day
are expanding SG Edinburgh and COPFS Edinburgh 15 September 2017, London
development and Glasgow, with uniformly excellent A three-hour workshop full of
opportunities feedback. practical tips and exercises to help you
for members in For those who want to sharpen their work more productively on the things
Scotland – and how you can get tech skills, we have also run a series that matter.
involved. of short coding workshops at HMRC
Cumbernauld and Education Scotland, as
Although times are tough in the public part of the wider Digital Unions Project.
sector, the FDA believes that members These workshops are provided through Network in Scotland.
should still be able to pursue challenging Scottish Union Learning in partnership Our focus on Scotland is already
and flexible career paths – and our FDA with the Scottish Government, and paying off, and since January this year,
Learn and Keyskills services are designed have been very popular. We’ve also more members north of Newcastle have
to give members the best possible offered sessions in social media, digital attended our masterclasses than in the
professional development opportuni- storytelling, digital photography and the south, with employers keen to book
ties. But we also believe that these best use of handheld devices. places and courses. But there’s more
opportunities should be available to all Expanding diversity in leadership has we can do, and we are very interested in
FDA members, regardless of where they been another strong area of work for bringing further workshops and events
live and work, so we have been stepping the FDA in Scotland. Between October to your workplace. The more members
up our activity in Scotland. and February, we ran four full-day who get their employer’s support – even
The past few months have seen a whole masterclass events and five mentoring if it’s just providing a venue – for an FDA
range of courses and events designed to sessions around this theme, engaging Learn/Keyskills event, the more likely it is
equip members north of the border with 70 public servants in total. We worked that we can extend our activities to your
the skills they need to make progress. Our with employer partners in Education workplace. So if you would like us to run
one-day ‘Improving Your Performance’ Scotland, HM Revenue and Customs, a session where you work, please do get
courses, run by our partners NewzPark, the Home Office, COPFS, DWP and in touch by emailing neil@fda.org.uk.
take members at all grades through the Scottish Government, and the
the various skills needed to succeed in events led to new recruits as well as a Neil Rider is head of FDA Learn and
the civil service’s competency based new relationship with the HMRC Race Keyskills

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 7
Work
An insight into the changing roles of public servants

My Working Life
Working in private office “Hey, I send some emails on a Sunday
afternoon because it suits me”. Well
A Keystone member tells us that’s great, but it’s still the person
about the dynamism, variety receiving the mail that has to deal with
and growing demands of somebody else’s Sunday afternoon brain
working in private office. dump on a Monday morning when they
thought they’d cleared their inbox
I’ve been in the civil service now for over before leaving the office on Friday.
30 years and if it wasn’t interesting I I hear people talking about companies
probably wouldn’t have stayed this long! that shut off their services at 6 o’clock on
Working in private office gives me such a a Friday so people can’t get emails out of
good overview of everything that’s working hours. I hear people talking
going on – not just of the team or the about it, but no suggestion that there is
department, but of the wider political an appetite for it in the civil service. I
agenda. believe there should be some flexibility if
It’s pretty fast paced and, as initiatives that suits people, but there needs to be
ebb and flow with ministerial whim, the greater awareness of the burden this can
direction of our activity can shift impose on people in a different situation,
dramatically, sometimes in a very short and that’s where I don’t think we’ve got
period of time. the right balance.
While some may find that daunting, I I’m grateful I’ve been given the
find that dynamism to be quite engaging. "As I look back and think of chances to do what I do, and to grow into
It’s possible that I have difficulty the demands we put on our what I do, but I’m conscious that I’m
concentrating on things because I seem people now, we just have to coming to the end of my working life. As
to like moving from subject to subject, be cautious about what we’re I look back and think of the demands we
and knowing that when I come into work asking." put on our people now, we just have to
I won’t have a whole day dealing with be cautious about what we’re asking.
one particular subject is actually quite You’re supposed to work to fund the rest
appealing. While quiet days do come along – of your life; work shouldn’t be your life.
In addition, I’m also a manager. This though they tend to be further and That’s the main change that I’ve seen.
reinforces the fact that not only are no further apart nowadays – late nights and
two days the same, but also within one early mornings can become a part of the
day, no morning or afternoon is the job, especially if we’ve got a particular
same. Even when the work is getting a push on something. To me, there’s not What’s your story?
little straightforward, there’s a raft of much that can be done about this – an
background management activity that operational demand is an operational My Working Life allows FDA and
has to be taken forward, and every demand after all. Keystone members to talk
management role is a different However, based on my experience, I do frankly about their jobs and
individual, so there’s endless diversity in think we’re on the cusp of having a experiences at work. If you’d
what I do. culture of ‘virtual presenteeism’. It’s so
like to work with one of our
This kind of work attracts a particular easy to ask for stuff on BlackBerry, on
kind of person and I think people who Surface Pro or on email at all times of the reporters on your own story,
prefer to work rigid hours would day, which has led to this creeping drop us a line to psm@fda.org.
probably find themselves looking for tendency towards long hours working. uk. Anonymity is guaranteed.
something different. We have senior managers that say,

8 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Work

Revolving Door
Civil service starters, movers and leavers

Department for Peter Jones has been appointed as Philip Rycroft has been appointed
International chief operating officer at the Foreign to the role of Second Permanent
Development Permanent and Commonwealth Office, after a Secretary at the Department for
Secretary Mark Lowcock three-year stint as the FCO's director for Exiting the European Union. Rycroft
is set to leave DfID to defence and international security. He will continue to hold his other role as
succeed Stephen O’Brien joined the Diplomatic Service in 1985, Second Permanent Secretary and head
as the head of the UN Office for the and has also served as British High of UK governance group in the Cabinet
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Commissioner to Ghana. Office, where he has responsibility for
Lowcock has served as the department's constitutional and devolution matters.
most senior official since 2011, and has Rycroft previously served as Director
spent all of his three decades in the civil My alternative career General in the office of the then-Deputy
service at DfID and its predecessor, the Prime Minister Nick Clegg from 2012 to
Richard Mulcahy
Overseas Development Administration. 2015.
His successor as DfID Permanent Helen Stephenson has
Secretary had not been announced at been named as the next
the time of writing. Chief Executive of the
Bernadette Kelly has been Charity Commission.
promoted to Permanent Secretary at the Stephenson has been
Department for Transport, succeeding director of early years
Philip Rutman, who moved to become and childcare at the Department for
Home Office Permanent Secretary Education since 2014, and prior to
earlier this year. Kelly moves to the top that was director of the Office for Civil
DfT job after serving as Director General Society. She succeeds Paula Sussex in
of the department's rail group since the Charity Commission role.
September 2015. She has also worked in Jason Feeney has been promoted
FDA a Keystone,
senior roles at the business department, to Chief Executive Officer at the Food
Llywodraeth Cymru
and her appointment makes her the Standards Agency, having served as
Ochr yr Undebau Llafur
fifth woman now leading a Government its Chief Operating Officer since 2015.
department. FDA and Keystone, Feeney joined the then-Department
Helen Bower-Easton, Welsh Government of Health and Social Security (DHSS)
who was the Prime Trade Union Side in 1981, and has served in senior jobs
Minister's official including pensions and benefits
spokesperson from 2015 I grew up with ‘Z Cars’ and ‘Dixon of director at the DHSS’s successor
to 2017, is returning Dock Green’, so as a boy I always ministry, the Department for Work and
to the FCO as its new wanted to become a police officer. My Pensions.
director of communications. Prior to main worry was whether I would be David Norgrove has
her Number 10 roles, Bower-Easton tall enough to get in! But by the time I taken up post as Chair
served as the head of communications left school, it was politics – and the of the UK Statistics
and UK spokesperson at the UK’s impact of the miners’ strike – that kept Authority, succeeding Sir
Representation to the European Union, me away from the thin blue line. A bit Andrew Dilnot. Norgrove
part of the FCO. Bower-Easton has also later, a careers questionnaire was previously Chair of
worked at the Home Office. suggested another route – ‘civil the Low Pay Commission, and served as
Leo Castledine, the Head of Civil servant’ or ‘minister of religion’ – an the first Chair of The Pensions Regulator
Service Local, is set to retire from the idea I laughed off, especially when I from its creation in 2005 until 2010. His
civil service at the end of September. joined the DTI as an EO. But these civil service career also includes stints
Castledine has been a civil servant things have a way of catching you out as a Treasury economist and as private
for almost four decades, and she will – over ten years later I went to secretary to Margaret Thatcher.
be succeeded by Kathie Bates, who theological college before ending up as
is currently CS Local's north west both a civil servant for the Welsh
co-ordinator. Bates’s previous roles Government and an Anglican priest in Have you or someone you
include change director and director the Church in Wales. Of course, had I work with recently joined
of operations at HM Revenue and joined the police, I would now be able or left the public service?
Customs. Andy Ashworth will take to retire on a full pension! Please let us know at
over the north west job from Bates. psm@fda.org.uk

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 9
News
Share your news with us at psm@fda.org.uk

ADC 2017 He explained: “We recently took two
decisions that will help secure the long-

Conference freezes FDA subs term future of the union. Last year we
purchased a property, which is currently
being refurbished, and two years ago we
The big news coming out of this year’s Annual Delegate Conference launched Keystone, our membership
(ADC) was the decision to freeze FDA subscription rates until 2022. offering to colleagues in the HEO/SEO
and related grades.
A motion from ARC Cambridge three years to five years”. “But the Executive Committee, whose
proposed that subscriptions should Writing to members following the members are all serving civil servants
be frozen for three years, but delegates decision, FDA President Gareth Hills like you and me, have been looking
overwhelmingly backed an amendment explained that the EC had proposed the to see what more the union could do.
from the Executive Committee (EC) subs freeze in light of the challenging Having reviewed our financial health, the
extending the subs freeze to five years for circumstances facing members, many of Executive Committee took the decision to
all FDA members. whom have seen their real incomes fall as restructure our finances to enable us to
Honorary Treasurer John McCullagh a result of the government’s pay policy. commit to a five-year subs rate freeze for
urged delegates to vote for the amended Hills said the EC had been “looking members.”
motion, saying it was “probably the to see what more the union could do” to
first time in the history of unions that keep membership affordable and relieve
the treasurer is moving an amendment the financial pressure on members, while Read more reports from the FDA’s 2017
to increase a subscriptions freeze from protecting the FDA’s financial health. conference on page 16.

New government robust response from the FDA which
pointed out that Brexit meant civil
prunes manifesto servants were now working harder
commitments than ever "with little or no extra
resource".
The unexpected outcome of the 2017 As PSM went to print, the
general election triggered a number of government unveiled a slimmed-down
ministerial changes, as some senior Queen’s Speech which ommitted many
government figures signalled that of the proposals outlined in the
Prime Minister Theresa May could drop Conservative manifesto, although the
key parts of the Conservative fate of measures directly affecting the
manifesto. civil service remained in doubt.
May appointed Damian Green The manifesto made several pledges
(pictured) – the former Work and on the future of civil service, including a
Pensions Secretary –as the new Cabinet promise to expand the geographic
Office minister, replacing Ben Gummer, reach of the organisation by moving
The post-election reshuffle also saw
who lost his Ipswich seat to Labour on more senior posts away from Whitehall.
the cabinet return of Michael Gove, the
election night. Responding to that pledge, the FDA
former Education and Justice Secretary
Green is a longstanding ally of the said any relocation programme must
who challenged May for the
Prime Minister, serving under her as a prioritise the retention of skilled and
Conservative Party leadership in 2016.
Home Office minister for four years experienced staff. “Employers also need
during the coalition government. His Gove was appointed as Environment
to make sure that they do all they can to
Cabinet Office role will cover policy Secretary, replacing Andrea Leadsom at minimise the impact of any programme
coordination and implementation, civil the helm of a department set to be on civil servants, including by
service workforce issues, and public heavily affected by Brexit. Since leaving implementing proper flexible working
sector reform. Green also becomes First office last year, Gove has argued that and offering relocation packages to
Secretary of State, a role akin to that of civil servants are not held sufficiently those affected,” said Assistant General
Deputy Prime Minister. accountable for failure – prompting a Secretary Rob O’Neill.

10 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
News

FDA in the media

May

In May, the FDA launched its Britain
Needs A Strong Civil Service campaign,
calling for a fresh spending settlement
to ensure the civil service has the
resources it needs for the challenges
of Brexit and beyond. The campaign
was launched at the Annual Delegate
Conference, and several titles picked up
on General Secretary Dave Penman’s
speech and the results of the union’s
working hours survey.
How will civil servants implement
Election 2017 Brexit? Not by being barked at
THE GUARDIAN

FDA praises “professional” civil UK senior civil servants fed up with six-
day Brexit-filled weeks

service after election shock POLITICO
Hammond accused of 'backward step' on
Whitehall finances
The FDA’s General Secretary Dave Penman has stressed the crucial FINANCIAL TIMES
role that civil servants will play as the country deals with the Civil service ‘needs to be properly
ramifications of an inconclusive general election result. resourced’ for Brexit
PUBLIC FINANCE
The election saw the Conservatives lose continues to function and that the UK union chief warns that civil servants
their overall majority just days before interests of citizens are protected in the lack resources to tackle Brexit GLOBAL
the start of formal talks on Britain's exit absence of clear political leadership.” GOVERNMENT FORUM
from the European Union, with the Tories He added: “The civil service will also Civil servants working while sick or on
now relying on a negotiated arrangement be there to provide support, expertise holiday to manage workloads, survey
with Northern Ireland’s Democratic and guidance to the political parties as finds
Unionist Party (DUP) to govern in a hung they wrestle with conflicting manifestos CIVIL SERVICE WORLD
Parliament. and difficult electoral arithmetic. Over
As well as continuing to run vital the coming days and weeks – and in April
public services and helping ministers negotiations over our exit from the EU –
to prepare for Brexit negotiations, Britain needs a strong civil service.” April saw Department for International
civil servants must now support Development Permanent Secretary
ministers as they plan a legislative Former Scottish Government Mark Lowcock leave the civil service
agenda that can survive the complex Permanent Secretary Sir for a United Nations job. His departure
parliamentary arithmetic thrown up Peter Housden tweeted in the was reported in the press before it was
by the result. immediate aftermath of the officially confirmed, accompanied by
In such a situation, the FDA General election: “Thank heavens for a negative briefings from political sources.
Secretary stressed it was vital that the strong and stable civil service.” That prompted a response from the FDA,
hard work of officials in providing which criticised anonymous briefings
stability was recognised. Penman In a message to staff, Cabinet against civil servants, and which was re
said: “As politicians grapple with the Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood said he ported on by the Daily Express and Civil
inconclusive consequences of the had “no doubt that the civil service will Service World.
general election, the country should demonstrate once again our adaptability, FDA slams ‘cowardice’ of briefing against
once again be proud that it is served by commitment and professionalism”, perm secs as Lowcock's DfID departue
a professional, politically neutral and praising officials for their “deep confirmed
permanent civil service. commitment to public service”. CIVIL SERVICE WORLD
“As was demonstrated following the Former Scottish Government Top civil servant who oversaw
2010 general election, when the civil Permanent Secretary Sir Peter Housden £60billion of foreign aid spending quits
service had the foresight to prepare for tweeted in the immediate aftermath of for UN role
the possibility of a hung parliament, civil the election: “Thank heavens for a strong DAILY EXPRESS
servants will ensure that government and stable civil service.”

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 11
News

Working conditions Almost 2,000 members took part
in the latest study – the highest ever

“It’s a time bomb” – surveys flag number of participants for an FDA pay
survey – which found that 82% are either
dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the
concern over pay and workloads overall pay arrangements in the civil
service.
More than two-thirds of FDA members have worked while on sick or Just one in every eight members (12.6%)
annual leave in the past year, according to the latest working hours said they could see a clear link between
survey carried out by the union. their performance and their pay, while
more than two-thirds (67.6%) said there
were recruitment or retention difficulties
in their organisation.
The overwhelming majority of
respondents (85.7%) said that they
did not believe their organisation was
sufficiently resourced to meet the
challenges of the year ahead, and 60.6%
said their morale had fallen in the past 12
months – with pay the most commonly
cited reason for this.
“My net pay is lower now than it was
when I started in the organisation in
2010,” one member told the FDA, while
another said: “It’s a time bomb. People
are getting more and more fed up.”
Following the two surveys, the FDA
launched its new Britain Needs a
Strong Civil Service campaign – calling
on the new Govern ment to give the civil
service a fresh spending settlement
Just over 1,400 members took part in regularly work more than an entire day’s to ensure it has the resources needed
this year’s survey, which sheds light on worth of additional hours every week. for the major challenges of Brexit and
the realities of working life in the civil Just over two-thirds of those surveyed beyond.
service. said working excessive hours was a By mid-June, the survey findings
The study reveals that 68% of members problem in their department or agency, had been reported in the Guardian,
have carried on working through sick or but only one in six said their employer Civil Service World, Politico Europe
annual leave in the past twelve months, had taken steps to tackle the problem. and Public Finance. The findings for
while just over half were unable to take "If I didn't work additional hours I each department are also being used
their full entitlement last year. could not get everything done,” said one by FDA negotiators in meetings with
Workload was the most common member. “But even then I find myself employers, with the union focusing
reason for not taking annual leave – given doing things at the last minute, as there is efforts on securing compensation for all
by 57% of members. A third (33.3%) of never time to plan.” hours worked, and pressing employers
members said they felt unable to take Another member told the FDA: “I to properly record overtime and provide
leave because of their team’s workload, sometimes feel that it isn't worth taking the resources needed to reduce excessive
while 32.9% said they had carried forward time off because the amount you have to working hours.
a leave deficit from a previous year. catch up on puts additional pressure on Meanwhile, the FDA’s Annual Delegate
The study also found that more than an already busy job.” Conference backed a series of motions
90% of staff across all departments The findings came as the separate on pay and working hours in May, calling
regularly work longer than their FDA pay survey revealed widespread on the Government to ensure that all
contracted hours each week, with more dissatisfaction with the civil service pay departmental plans reflect the resources
than a quarter (28.7%) saying they system. available.

68% 90%
of A third (33.3%) of of staff
members members said they felt across
have all
carried on working through unable to take leave departments regularly work
sick or annual leave in the past because of their team’s longer than their contracted
twelve months workload hours each week

12 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
News

Media
FDA in the media
FDA slams “cowardly” attacks on
civil servants April continued

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s
The FDA has leapt to the defence of a senior civil servant after his Justice Committee published a report
departure from Whitehall was trailed by negative briefings to the warning that the Crown Office and
press from anonymous political sources. Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
is operating under “considerable
Sir Mark Lowcock’s resignation as "All too often this particular brand of pressure”, with an increased workload
Permanent Secretary at the Department political cowardice rears its ugly head and stretched resources. Media
for International Development – a job as ministers feel the pressure to look coverage featured analysis by the
he has held since 2011 – was officially for a convenient scapegoat,” he added. Procurator Fiscals Section of the FDA
confirmed in May. Lowcock is to take on "Instead of preaching about leadership union, showing that the service is
a new role at the United Nations, with it's time some politicians demonstrated facing a real-terms budget cut of 21.5%.
DfID's Nick Dyer stepping up to lead the it and publicly defended their staff from Scotland's prosecution service 'under
department in the interim. these unwarranted, vicious attacks." considerable pressure', say MSPs
However, news of Lowcock’s departure Speaking at the FDA’s Annual Delegate BBC
was given to the media a day before the Conference in May, Penman also hit 'Serious failings' in Scots justice system,
official announcement, accompanied out at the failure of ministers to defend say MSPs
by quotes from anonymous figures officials after the departure of Sir Ivan STV NEWS
criticising his performance. Rogers as the UK’s most senior diplomat Criminal justice system 'failings' must be
Responding to the media coverage, in in Brussels. addressed, MSPs say
a statement that was picked up by the He said: “You don't get a strong civil PRESS ASSOCIATION
Daily Express and Civil Service World, service by sending out former ministers
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman to tramp around the TV studios trashing March
said: "Once again we are witness to the reputation of civil servants for having
March saw extensive coverage of
the unedifying spectacle of committed the audacity to speak truth unto power,
the FDA’s call for more civil service
public servants being undermined and whilst ministers stay silent, refusing
resources to cope with the additional
attacked through 'anonymous' sources to voice their support and giving those
challenges of Brexit. Coverage in
close to ministers. attacks their tacit approval.”
Bloomberg, the Financial Times, Politics
Home, Civil Service World and Public
Sector Executive came after the union
ARC Conference 2017 released statements on the triggering
of Article 50 as well as on reports by the
Delegates from all parts of the UK debate, delegates eventually backed the
National Audit Office and the Institute
gathered at the Manchester Conference motion’s claims that existing support
for Government think tank.
Centre on 16-17 May for the annual systems set by the department to keep
general meeting of the Association of staff on career breaks in touch with Brexit Set to Begin With Fewest UK Civil
Revenue and Customs (ARC), the developments at work were inadequate. Servants Since 1940s
section of the FDA representing But a motion calling for ARC to BLOOMBERG

members in HM Revenue and Customs. explore the possibility of exchanging Whitehall feels the pinch
Chaired by ARC President Vicky some terms and conditions in return for FINANCIAL TIMES

Johnson, the AGM debated 83 motions HMRC being treated as a “special case” National Audit Office sounds alarm over
on topics a diverse as government pay in pay negotiations was rejected by civil service workload as Brexit looms
policy, hot desking, managing Brexit delegates. POLITICSHOME

and changes to travel allowances. Delegates also heard keynote Article 50: Heywood pledges extra
Delegates voted to end ARC’s speeches from FDA General Secretary resources for departments most
long-standing political fund and backed Dave Penman and Paul Novak, Deputy affected by Brexit
motions calling for an end to the General Secretary of the TUC, who CIVIL SERVICE WORLD

government’s 1% cap on pay rises and a spoke about the future of trade unions Civil Service ‘woefully underprepared’
return to pay progression for staff and the workforce in the aftermath of for Brexit as Article 50 triggered
within the existing pay bands. Brexit. PUBLIC SECTOR EXECUTIVE

The conference’s liveliest debate came
on a motion calling on the ARC A full report on the ARC conference
Committee to set up an informal ‘buddy will be published in the next issue of
support system’ for members taking ARC News and on the ARC website at:
career breaks. After a fiercely contested arcunion.org.uk.

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 13
Opinion
Got an opinion? Let’s hear it at psm@fda.org.uk

Reality intrudes on the
Westminster spectacle
Forget the live surprisingly close together, but a debate on why this tragedy happened
staged dramas at physical proximity is no way to measure and the stark contrasts that are evident
Westminster – the the reality of their very different lives. in a few square miles of west London.
recent tragedies Kensington and Chelsea has the biggest Regulation and enforcement of
in London and gap between the mean and median standards for housing, as well as levels
Manchester show salaries of its residents of any borough in of fire protection, will inevitably feature
us what politics and the country. in the promised public inquiry. The
public service are supposed to Questions over the quality and debate over regulation versus guidance,
be about, writes Dave Penman. availability of public housing and the the ‘red tape challenge’ and the
resources available to local authorities resources available for enforcement are
As I sit down to write this, the news to provide safe and habitable homes among the issues that will come under
is filled with the unfolding tragedy at did not feature heavily in the election detailed scrutiny.
Grenfell Tower in west London. I was campaign debate. Yet in the space of a Parallels are obvious between the
going to write this column on the chaotic few hours, they became the backdrop to events in Manchester and London
political outcome of the election and
the role of the civil service. Yet over the
last few weeks, in Manchester, London
Bridge and now in north Kensington,
dramatic and tragic events have
brought into sharp relief the reality of
what politics and political discourse is
ultimately supposed to be about.
The result of the election has led to
endless speculation about the fate of the
Prime Minister, her likely successors,
the rise and fall of politicians and the
power games that have come to define
our political scene over the last few
years. This is politics for the sake of it –
a story wrapped around the fate of key
characters like some prime-time drama,
endlessly seeking a new plot twist.
The Grenfell Tower fire, a tragedy of
unimaginable scale, is already becoming
the focus of a debate about the reality
of life in modern Britain and the type
of society we want to live in. This social
housing tower block sits in the middle
of one of the wealthiest areas on the
planet. As is the case in many great
cities, the wealthiest and poorest often

14 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Opinion

Bridge. First responders from all the But as a union whose members that govern our daily lives are currently
emergency services put themselves provide many of those services, we have determined by agreement with our EU
in harm’s way to protect their fellow challenged government to match the partners. The red tape challenge and
citizens. The bravery and commitment commitments it makes with the resources ‘regulation lite’ philosophy has also just
of those individuals shines like a it provides. We recognise that public been given a brutal new context.
beacon of hope in what has been some services have to be delivered efficiently As the election result unfolded, once
of the country’s darkest hours. Those and this must be an integral element again I said that the country should be
emergency services rely on tens of of managing services, not simply a proud that it is served by a professional,
thousands of fellow public servants response to ministerial pressure. That politically neutral and permanent civil
to support them. All of those public is just as important when additional service. I said that over the coming days
servants have faced a sustained period of resources are made available as when and weeks, and thoughout our exit
cuts to staffing levels, pension provision budgets are cut. from the EU, Britain needs a strong civil
and terms and conditions, as well as This parliament, if it lasts, will see service – and that requires investment.
sustained pay restraint. us through our exit from the European Despite all of the challenges, as
Government is there to protect its Union. Many of the issues raised above public servants you make a tremendous
citizens, allow them to prosper and will be determined by the success or contribution to the success of our
care for them in times of need. These otherwise of that process. The strength of country and help transform people’s
services are either directly or indirectly our economy and our ability to invest in lives. We will continue to insist that
delivered by public servants. The level of public services will be determined by the public servants deserve to be treated
resources available to be distributed is, nature of our ability to trade with the EU fairly by government, that pay restraint
in part, determined by the capacity and and wider world. Many of the regulations should end, and that well managed
capability of the public servants tasked investment in public services can be both
with collecting them. effective and efficient.
The work of government matters every It may well be that the period of
day to every citizen of the UK. Since 2007 reflection on these tragic events, and the
and the financial collapse, austerity has analysis of what drove the outcome of
been the dominant political message. Government is the election, will lead to some changes
As a politically neutral union, we have there to protect in the Government’s approach to public
tried to steer a difficult course through its citizens, allow services and public servants. Certainly,
this debate, recognising the democratic we will be making the case for change as
mandate governments have to determine
them to prosper and loudly and as often as we can.
the size of the civil service and the care for them in
resources available for public services. times of need Dave Penman is FDA General Secretary.

15
ADC 2017

Below right (from
left): FDA General
Secretary Dave
Penman, FDA
President Gareth Hills
and Assistant General
Secretary Naomi
Cooke.

Over 200 delegates from government departments,

F
agencies and public bodies met in London on 11 May
for the FDA’s 2017 Annual Delegate Conference.
DA General Secretary
Dave Penman kicked

BRITAIN
off the 2017 Annual
Delegate Conference
(ADC) by reprising
the unpredictable
events of the previous

NEEDS A
12 months. Not only
did his beloved Partick Thistle secure
a top-six finish in the Scottish Premier
League, but the UK voted to leave the EU

STRONG
and found itself in the midst of a third
national plebiscite in as many years.
On the implications of Brexit, Penman
told delegates: “Whether you agree with

CIVIL
the referendum result or not, Brexit is the
most important issue our country faces”.
Despite the election campaign rhetoric
about ‘strong and stable leadership’ from
politicians, “the reality is that it will be

SERVICE
the civil service that will be asked to do
the heavy lifting”, he added.
Penman introduced what became the
recurring theme of the conference, telling

16 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
ADC 2017

ADC speakers
Left: Stephen Head,
CPS section
Below (from left):
Frances Hunter, ARC
Cambridge; Matthew
Lownds, Diplomatic
Service Association;
Fiona Eadie,
Executive Committee.

delegates that “Britain needs a strong Delegates from the Association of grab. It’s all about good governance,
civil service” to deliver the best possible Revenue and Customs (ARC) Cambridge recognising that we are all members of
outcome from the Brexit negotiations branch opposed the motion, with one union.”
and maintain quality public services. Graham Flew warning that the change The motion was ultimately passed,
Conference later unanimously approved could potentially “take a third of the paving the way for conference to later
the launch of a new campaign to press income” from sections, and Frances freeze FDA subscription rates for five
the incoming government to invest in the Hunter describing it as “a little bit like years (see page 10) – reducing financial
strong civil service we need to meet the a money grab”. But they were followed burden on members at a time of pay
challenges ahead. by a string of speakers from other restraint and providing an important
ARC branches, the Diplomatic Service recruitment tool for the FDA.
Strengthening our finances Association (DSA), Procurator Fiscal
A proposed change to the financing of Service, Ofsted and CPS supporting the Backing our civil servants
FDA sections led to a lively debate on the rule change. Conference called on ministers to extend
day’s first motion, which set out plans to While acknowledging ARC Cambridge’s their support for worker directors on
reduce rebates to sections that already concerns, the EC’s Fiona Eadie said she company boards to include civil service
have large reserves. was confident that sections would get departments, agencies and public bodies.
Moving the motion on behalf of the financial assistance when required and “You look at most successful football
Executive Committee (EC), David Chrimes argued the change would allow union clubs, they have fans on boards. Most
from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) funds to be used for “the greater benefit successful companies have trade union
section explained that the new rules were of all of our membership”. representatives on boards, with non-
“all about ensuring a strong stable future Eugene Mitchell, ARC Glasgow, also executive directors who are experts in
for the FDA” and avoiding “pockets of voiced strong support, telling delegates: those fields,” said EC member Stephen
money” building up which “perhaps are “This is not a motion about taking Head from the CPS section.
not invested in the best way”. subscriptions away. It’s not a money Conference also backed a motion from

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 17
ADC 2017

GUEST SPEAKER
DAVID WALKER
This year’s guest speaker, Guardian
journalist David Walker, urged the
FDA to publicly challenge small-
state Tories who, he said, “despise
you and want fewer of you around”.
He warned that the next
government may further undermine
civil service impartiality and tighten
the squeeze on public services, and
called on the union to noisily defend
the value of the public sector.
Walker did not deny the risks
involved: “I’m asking you, to some
extent, to put your head on the Rogers. “Influence is not necessarily
chopping block.” But he argued that about speaking publicly,” he said,
“lying doggo” leaves the floor to the arguing that the FDA does speak up
small-statists, and “may be just as when public servants come under
detrimental to the long-run interests fire – and encourages others to do so.
of the public service”. “I’ve stood in front of colleagues
In discussion, FDA General Secretary at the Wednesday morning
Dave Penman pointed to the [permanent secretaries’] meet-
conference motion on impartiality ings and said: ‘It is a lonely place
and his own media work in defence defending the civil service, because
of former EU ambassador Sir Ivan no one else seems to do it’,” he added.

FDA CONFERENCE 2017

the DSA calling on ministers to publicly A new deal on pay Speaking for the EC, ARC President Vicky
defend civil servants and the political “The Government expects top quality Johnson said: “What these adverts are
impartiality of the civil service. The DSA’s policy advice and service to be delivered saying is that people who do not work in
Matthew Lownds condemned media on mean, out-of-date and falling- the public sector are more worthy, better
attacks on British diplomats and judges, behind levels of pay,” DWP delegate qualified and better than the people who
and the lack of a robust response from Mike Buckley told delegates during the already work in the public sector… This
ministers. He urged ministers to ensure debate on civil service pay, which saw seems to fly in the face of everything that
public servants are “duly recognised, not conference back calls for an independent we do as a department to develop our
denigrated at every opportunity when pay review body for the entire civil own talent.“
things may seem to be going wrong from service and an end to the Government’s
a narrow political point of view”. 1% cap on pay rises. Better workplaces
Richard Hobbs from the British Chris Mills from HM Land Registry said Delegates backed a motion calling on the
Museum branch successfully moved a many members felt “the Government Cabinet Office to learn the lessons from
motion calling for greater recognition treated public sector staff with disdain”, the extensive machinery of government
for the expertise of staff working in with pay falling in real terms and higher changes that followed Theresa May’s
museums, galleries and libraries. pension contributions for reduced accession as prime minister last year.
“The intellectual heart of those benefits. “Pay restraint is going to have Conference heard how staff transferred
institutions is being undermined,” he an effect on public sector workers for the to the new Department for Exiting the
warned. “There is a sense that… the rest of their lives,” he added. EU and the Department for International
specialist knowledge that is required to Conference also called for an end to Trade faced delays in receiving
understand the collections, material, the policy of capping pay on promotion, appointment letters, payroll problems
culture and so on is not really being which leads to external candidates being and confusion over terms and conditions.
supported by management and offered higher starting salaries than Diplomatic Service Association
ministers,” he added. civil servants applying for promotion. delegate Shaun Cleary said: “Cabinet

18 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
ADC 2017

Left: David Chrimes,
Executive Committee
and CPS section.
Below: Patricia
Watson, Education
Scotland.
Opposite page:
Dave Penman, FDA
General Secretary
(top); Chris Mills,
HM Land Registry
(bottom)

WENDY JONES
EQUALITY AWARD
Helen Baird-Parker (above) from HMRC was named
as this year's winner of the Wendy Jones Equality and
Diversity Award, which recognises FDA members who
have made an outstanding contribution to promoting
equality in public life.
As an FDA rep, Helen has helped to push diversity and
equality issues to the top of the agenda in HMRC, as well
leading the union’s equal pay tribunal claim, which is
currently at the appeal stage. FDA President Gareth Hills
said Helen had “worked tirelessly” on behalf of members
and developed into “a fantastic advocate and rep for the
FDA and others”.
Helen, who was presented with her award by the
Guardian’s David Walker, told delegates, “I’m proud on
behalf of all of our members who have contributed to
work around equal pay. Thank you very much.”

Office have decades of experience of is a skilled professional in one discipline David Chrimes, CPS section, said heavy
machinery of government changes… We or another and the Government can ill- workloads often lead to work-related
were gobsmacked to see that they seemed afford to lose those skills,” he said. stress, and delegates backed his call for
to still make it up as they went along.” civil service employers to remove sources
He added: “The centre really needs to Realistic workloads of stress and ensure workloads remain
review, learn the lessons and apply these Delegates strongly supported a motion reasonable.
to any future machinery of government from the Scottish Government branch
changes.” calling on all UK administrations to Conference reporting by Matt Foster,
Delegates strongly backed a motion ensure civil servants are fully paid for Tommy Newell, Matt Ross and Craig
calling on departments to prioritise all the hours they work. David Howdon Ryan. Photographs by Graham Martin.
retaining skilled and experienced from the DWP branch explained how
staff as ministers press ahead with the FDA has successfully negotiated
the Government Hubs relocation pro- compensation for excess hours in
gramme, which aims to reduce the some departments and encouraged all Read further reports from the
government estate from around 800 to members to claim for them where they ADC online at: bit.ly/fda-adc17.
200 buildings by 2023. can. For more on the future of civil
Moving the motion for the EC, Tony Workload frustrations were also service pay, see page 20.
Wallace from ARC Nottingham told echoed in a successful composite motion
conference the FDA has a “crucial role to from the Ofsted and Education Scotland
play” in protecting jobs and easing the sections. Education Scotland’s Patricia
strain on staff, and pressing departments Watson revealed that some members had
to implement proper flexible working and worked up to 28 excess hours in a week ,
relocation packages. "Every person in this which she lambasted as “unlawful” and
room and across our wider membership “unacceptable”.

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 19
Public sector pay

With prices rising and staff a while – double the level of public sector
shortages spreading across settlements. And the latest data analysed
by Income Data Research, for the three
public services, cracks are months to the end of April, shows that the
median settlement in the private sector
already appearing in the has increased to 2.4%. The main reason
government’s public sector for this is a greater number of awards at
3% or above, with most connected to the
pay policy, writes Ken recent increase in the National Minimum
Mulkearn. Wage.

H
Pressure from rising inflation
as the current public This comes at a time when inflation is
sector pay policy also rising. The Retail Price Index stood
– a cap of 1% on at 3.5% in the year to April, up sharply
basic pay awards – from 3.1% in the year to March. This
reached the end of the was partly a result of air fares rising this
road? It’s certainly year, in contrast to a fall last year – with
under severe pressure, with growing Easter falling in April, the airlines took
evidence of recruitment, retention and advantage of the school holidays to raise
morale problems across the public ticket prices.
sector. Manifesto commitments by the But other upward pressures on
opposition parties to lift the pay cap inflation came from clothing, footwear
were one sign of this. But employers and electricity prices. These have risen
have spoken out too – particularly in the because of the impact of sterling’s earlier
NHS, where the impact on recruitment weakness on import prices. The ongoing
and retention has been especially acute. influence of currency fluctuations is
And a number of the Pay Review Bodies, one reason why economists predict that
which are constrained by their remits to inflation is likely to keep rising, and could
recommend increases in line with the reach 4% on the RPI measure by the
policy, have signalled their concerns that autumn.
the approach is unsustainable. Higher inflation is adding to the
By contrast, private sector pay awards existing strain on public pay policy,
have been running at a median of 2% for as demonstrated by special deals for

20 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Public sector pay

groups that have been most affected to commercial specialists, ‘digital, data
by recruitment, retention and morale Higher inflation and technology’ specialists, those in
issues. NHS paramedics have been is adding to the science and engineering jobs, technical
re-banded nationally from band 5 strain on public pay specialists such as data analysts, and
(currently worth between £21,909 and policy – demonstrated senior civil servants. The Government
£28,462) to band 6 (£26,302 to £35,225). Office for Science recently set out its
According to the Department for Health,
by special deals for strategy for science and engineering
the move “is in recognition of the some staff posts. Part of this will involve a review of
increasing responsibilities of being a critical skill gaps and the commissioning
modern paramedic” and partly reflects by the latter group receiving ‘progression’ of an external review of pay and reward,
the burden being placed on paramedics increases based on experience, skills or “with a benchmarking exercise against
when hospitals are more hard-pressed performance, as well as basic pay rises of industry and academia”.
than before. around 2%. These are areas where competition
Meanwhile, the Government has In the civil service the Government with the private sector has put upward
announced that pay for new prison has said it may give special treatment pressure on pay, and the government’s
officers and some staff in jails in London skills needs – particularly those related
and the South East will increase by up to Brexit – are also likely to be a factor.
to £5,000. The move is also aimed at Already some civil service pay deals
boosting recruitment and retention, have departed from the letter of the pay
but the Prison Officers’ Association policy. And outside central government,
described the it as “a plaster over a teachers in England and Wales saw their
gaping wound”. scale maximums increased by 2% in 2015
Since then, talks have taken place because of recruitment and retention
about the possible creation of a new pressures – though the increase reverted
‘band 4’ prison officer role for staff on the to 1% in 2016.
new entrant scales. This would provide a The Government has also signalled
pathway for progression to a higher pay FDA looks for new deal that it is to soften its policy of requiring
band for those currently on band 3 who on civil service pay pre-set quotas or ‘forced distribution’
develop their skill levels. for performance-related pay increases
Ken Mulkearn (above) took part in a for civil servants. Widely disliked by
Progression squeezed out debate on civil service pay with FDA staff, these meant that managers were
These developments highlight the General Secretary Dave Penman at compelled to place pre-determined
importance of progression for public the union’s annual conference in May. proportions of staff in the different
sector employees. In both the civil service Fielding questions from delegates, performance categories of ‘expected’
and schools, progression has been Mulkearn said the Government’s (65% of staff), ‘exceeding’ (25%) and
largely squeezed out by a combination seven-year pay policy “is probably ‘poor performance’ (10%), with those in
of reduced funding for pay and the unprecedented in the history of the latter receiving no pay increase. New
adoption of so-called ‘performance’ this state”, while “pay progression arrangements will be based on principles
or ‘merit-based’ pay systems that roll has been squeezed out” of the that no longer require departments to
up progression with the basic award, system. “You cannot really talk about impose these quotas.
with total pay movements limited to 1% organisational change without So where is the pay policy likely to go
under the current policy. But in other putting careers and pay at the heart next? The 1% cap is unprecedented both
parts of the public sector, notably local of that,” he added. “Good careers in terms of its longevity and its severity,
government and the NHS, progression usually means having some structure and we are now seeing the negative
continues to be paid to eligible staff who to pay and that usually means some effects on staffing. We have been here
have not reached the top of their pay possibility of progression for people.” before: in the 1990s, a lengthy period of
grade. Turning to the prospects for pay pay restraint produced a similar range of
Restoration of progression rights is after the general election, Penman issues. Then, the remedy was to end pay
likely to be on the agenda as the pay warned, “If there is any loosening of restraint and funnel new money towards
policy comes under more critical scrutiny the purse strings, it’s not going to be public sector pay. It would be surprising
in the near future. This is especially because you deserve it; it’s going to be if similar remedies were not being
so as progression is important for because they want something for it.” considered this time.
private sector pay growth. The latest He pointed to the Agenda for Change
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings system introduced into the NHS in Ken Mulkearn is a director of Income
(ASHE) showed that, while earnings 2004, in which better pay rates were Data Research, a leading provider of
for all employees grew by 2.2% in 2016, agreed in return for a more flexible, independent research on pay. IDR’s full
earnings for those who remained in harmonised pay system, as one model report on pay in the public services is
the same job between 2015 and 2016 – the new government might be willing available at £295 +VAT. To order a copy,
around 80% of the workforce – grew by to talk about. email enquiries@incomesdataresearch.
4.6%. Most of the difference is explained co.uk and quote ‘PSR2017’.

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 21
CPS Direct

Direct action
FDA members at CPS Direct work all hours under the sun
to keep the justice system running – but it took a two-
year fight by the union to claim the holiday pay members
were owed. Matt Foster reports.

S
enior Crown Prosecutor shifts were left out of pocket for taking a
Sandra Carrera-Sanchez break. I probably
was listening to the “I thought: ‘Is it really worth taking would never
radio one morning when annual leave if I’m going to be punished have found
something caught her for taking it?’” out about it
ear. “I’m always reading
the papers and trying to keep abreast of A race against time
[without the FDA]
what’s going on in the employment law Armed with more detail on the case – an Dave Dohrn, CPS Direct
world,” she says. “But as I was listening Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling in
to the news, I heard about a case that had the case of Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton –
just been decided, entitling shift workers Sandra, who has been the FDA Convenor Scotland case, the Government had
to holiday pay. I decided to pay more for the CPS Direct branch since 2013, rushed in regulations just before
attention!” raised the issue with the FDA’s National Christmas 2014 restricting the scope to
Like hundreds of other prosecutors Officer, Jawad Raza. claim back pay in all unlawful deduction
across England and Wales, Sandra works In June 2015, Jawad and Sandra began of wages claims,” she tells PSM. “This
for CPS Direct, which provides 24-hour contacting members to alert them of meant claims had to be lodged before 1
criminal charging advice to the police, the issue and find out just how many July 2015, or suffer a two year cut-off for
365 days a year. were affected – no easy task given their repayment of outstanding holiday pay.”
CPS Direct staff play a vital part in the complicated shift patterns – and sought If the FDA had missed that deadline, it
smooth running of the justice system, advice from Joy Drummond at Simpson would have directly affected any payouts
working remotely from home or from Millar Solicitors on possible next steps. received by long-serving CPS Direct staff,
local CPS offices to field calls from police While Jawad says early negotiations and Jawad and Joy now had less than two
when they need to decide whether to with the CPS on the issue were weeks to lodge their protective claim.
charge someone with an offence. Sandra “positive”, the FDA believed members As Joy explains, there were still no
tells PSM that shift patterns can be both would be best served by lodging a lead claimants at this point – members
“random and antisocial” and can include protective employment tribunal claim Neil Swire and Steven Hearn would
working weekends, bank holidays, on their behalf. As Joy explains, the later take on that role – and the two
Christmas and Easter. “Everybody wants situation was made more complicated by sides were required to go through an
to be eating turkey on Christmas Day,” a tight deadline for taking action. early conciliation process with ACAS
she says. “But we are working!” “In response to an employer outcry before proceeding with a tribunal claim.
To compensate for the gruelling hours following the decision in the Bear Burning the midnight oil, Jawad and Joy
worked by CPS Direct staff, the employer raced to get the claim ready in time.
grants them ‘premium payments’ – “I advised on applying for group early
extra money on top of their basic pay, conciliation and for it to be cut short,
determined by the timing of their shift. to finish in time to meet the deadline,”
According to this system, the more Every time she says. “I also drafted a template for
antisocial the hours worked, the more you took the details of the claim. Jawad then did a
staff would receive in their monthly pay annual leave, fantastic job, managing to put together
packet. But, as Sandra explains, there your pay would and lodge 49 claims on the last day!”
was a flaw in the system. Whenever staff
took annual leave they would only get
effectively be Crunching the numbers
basic pay for that time off – meaning reduced Once lodged, the employment tribunal
that those who usually worked premium Sandra Carrera-Sanchez, CPS case was then ‘stayed’ to allow the FDA

22 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
CPS Direct

to seek a resolution with the CPS, who great footballer. Last year he went to play
quickly admitted liability. The FDA then in Sweden. The family paid for him to go -
contacted members to get more detail but they couldn’t afford to go with him.
on the amount of annual leave they had “This year, thanks to the money they
taken since joining the organisation, so have received, they’re all able to go to
these could be cross-referenced with any Sweden as a family to watch him play.
calculations made by the CPS. For her, that’s an amazing thing to do...
One of those members was Dave because our job – working evenings and
Dohrn. Dave lives in the Welsh valleys weekends – does impact on the rest of
and has worked at CPS Direct for eight the family. Because of what the FDA did,
years. He has been an FDA member for a she can repay some of that debt to her
quarter of a century, and first heard about family.”
the case when he received an email from Dave, who received a payment of
the union asking for details on his annual around £7,500, says he is “very grateful
leave. He says the process was made as to the FDA for all the work that they
simple as possible by the FDA, and his have done”. And he’s clear about what
involvement as a member was limited would have happened had the union not
to providing details on the leave he had been there to raise the issue. “I probably
taken. would never have found out about it,” he
“I think I was one of the lucky ones tells PSM. “And if I had found out about it
because I’d kept all my leave applications I probably wouldn’t have gotten around
going right back to 2009,” he says. “It was to doing anything about it!”
quite easy for me to do. I used documents Sandra – who also received a
that I’d extracted from the CPS Direct sizeable payout – believes the support
electronic rota system.” she received in raising the issue was
The majority of the work was then done invaluable. “Jawad was amazing. He was
behind the scenes, explains Jawad, who very understanding,” she says. “He knew
handled the complex task of calculating Some colleagues what we had to do. He gave me clear
what staff were owed, and then led 21 directions and we took it from there. He
months of negotiations with the CPS and
received life-changing was an excellent point of contact and I’m
Government Legal Department. sums that helped to really very grateful to him.”
“Once an offer was made, the ease money worries
mathematical challenge began,” he says. Looking to the future
“All calculations had to be checked and The FDA’s work to ensure that members
cross-referenced with the information in CPS Direct are properly compensated
members had provided us. If we got these their different skills and working is far from over, and Jawad tells PSM that
wrong, then members wouldn’t receive together as a team.” the union is now looking to negotiate on
the correct amounts.” For his part, Jawad says the expert behalf of the remaining members who
guidance provided by Joy played a major could not be part of the original claim.
“Dogged persistence” role in securing victory for members. “I’m often asked ‘what can the union
After months of talks with the employer, “Joy was available at every turn, from do for me?” he says. “The end result here
a binding agreement to settle the case the ACAS early conciliation process, demonstrates the value and the benefit
on behalf of the 49 claimants was finally helping draft the group employment of being a FDA member, and how the
issued by ACAS earlier this year – with tribunal claim, providing case law when FDA will fight to get the best possible
the final settlement topping £200,000. we hit sticking points in negotiations deal for its members. The FDA’s aim, as
Although Joy believes the negotiations with the Government Legal Department, always, has been to take the pressure off
were made “unnecessarily complicated” and ensuring any issued guidance was members and to make the whole process
by the Government Legal Department, legally correct – as well as being an as seamless and as painless as possible
she is quick to credit Jawad’s “sheer invaluable sounding board.” for them.”
dogged persistence and hard work, not Lead claimant Neil Swire – an FDA For Sandra, the success of the CPS
to mention mathematical ability” in member since the mid-90s – says the Direct claim has served as a reminder
securing an offer that the union could put support offered by the union was of the reasons she joined the FDA in the
to members. “fantastic from start to finish”. He adds first place. “It just makes the workplace
“This is a great success for the FDA, that many of his “delighted” colleagues better,” she says. “If you are outside the
delivering valuable benefits for members have received “life-changing” sums that union then you won’t get advice when
collectively,” she says. “It’s a good have, in some cases, helped to ease both you need it. And you will not have a voice
example of the vital importance of union money worries and some of the pressures when you want that voice to be heard.”
representation and what can be achieved of the job.
by FDA representatives and national “Money’s tight for a friend of mine,” Matt Foster is staff writer for the FDA
officers and their legal advisers bringing Neil explains. “Her son is fourteen and a and Public Service Magazine.

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 23
Brexit

The clock’s
still ticking
With Brexit Day just 21 months away, Britain’s
government, parliament and civil service face perhaps
their greatest peacetime challenge. Craig Ryan asks the
experts if we have the resources, skills and time we need
to make Brexit work.

24 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Brexit

I
f Brexit was hard before the will have to ruthlessly prioritise what transferring the huge ‘acquis’ of EU and
election, how much harder they do with the 21 months that remain. EU-derived legislation into UK law and
is it now? Theresa May’s In negotiating terms, that probably making sure everything will work in the
government faces the greatest means agreeing the basic package post-Brexit environment.
policy and legislative challenge on withdrawal terms – the “divorce That means replacing every law made
since 1945 without a clear settlement” – and a transitional under the powers of the 1972 European
mandate or a majority in parliament, agreement, lasting perhaps two to five Communities Act, and trawling through
and with the prospect of a change of years, while Britain’s future relationship other UK legislation which has an EU
leadership or a fresh election hanging in with the EU is worked out in detail. “The dimension or refers to EU standards or
the air. And with the smallest civil service transitional deal won’t be the status institutions, including thousands of EU
since the war to boot. quo or a long-term settlement; it will be directives. EU regulations, which apply
“For the civil service, the problem is something different. In what way, we directly in UK law, will have to be carried
the Brexit clock is still ticking,” says Sir don’t really know,” says Jenkins. across to British law. Perhaps the trickiest
Paul Jenkins, Treasury Solicitor and head Running in parallel with the job will be identifying and replacing the
of the Government Legal Service from negotiations, but interacting with them large volume of judge-made law – much
2006 to 2014. “When will they be able in a wickedly complex way, will be of EU tax legislation, for example, exists
to get on with negotiating and will they the process of legislating for Brexit – only in European Court rulings.
even get near having something they can The white paper published by the
implement before the end of the Article Department for Exiting the European
50 period?” Union (DExEU) before the general
If the parliamentary arithmetic doesn’t election won praise from some experts
change, or moves further against the for not trying to do too much. “The
Government, he warns that it’s far from white paper was not as ambitious as I
certain that any deal negotiated with thought it might be, and others feared it
Brussels will be approved – increasing might be,” says Sir Stephen Laws who,
both the risk of a ‘cliff-edge’ exit, and as First Parliamentary Counsel, was
the need for parallel planning. “With Westminster’s chief drafter of laws from
time running out fast, the civil service 2006 to 2012. “It confines itself to two
urgently needs clarity and direction issues: what you need to do to preserve
from ministers. It appears they’re getting With time continuity after Brexit, and what you
neither at the moment. But, who knows, running out need to do to implement the deal.”
it might all change tomorrow!” fast, the civil service As ever, the devil will be in the detail.
Despite the political rhetoric, Jenkins urgently needs One big problem the white paper doesn’t
believes some ministers – David Davis, address is what exactly constitutes
in particular – now “get it”, and realise
clarity and direction “EU-derived” legislation. Laws cites the
there’s no chance of securing a long-term from ministers.” example of the 1985 Consumer Credit
trade deal by Brexit Day. This means they Sir Paul Jenkins Act, which was supposed to implement

Taxing times – HMRC’s Brexit to-do list
HM Revenue and Customs is not a land border on the island of Ireland, • Providing new domestic legislation
designated “Brexit department” and depending on the outcome of Brexit to replace EU customs legislation
won’t be getting any extra resources negotiations to allow the UK to operate a
– the department insists Brexit work • Establishing the legal framework standalone customs and indirect tax
must be “absorbed” alongside existing and physical infrastructure for a regime, whatever the outcome of
business. But Brexit will have a wide- standalone customs regime at ports negotiations
ranging impact on the UK’s tax regime and airports around the UK that is as
and revenue collection services. The frictionless as possible – and provides
formidable workload includes: continuity for businesses
• Designing and implementing • Recruiting and training extra
appropriate system for customs and customs officers and agents
security checks for roll-on-roll-off
• Legislating for possible import
freight traffic from the EU at Dover
duties and tariffs on goods from
and other ports
EU and other countries with trade
• Designing and implementing a agreements with the EU
customs service for the highly-porous

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 25
Brexit

the UK’s obligations on product liability. to those granted under the 1972 Act it nowhere fast before the election:
“The European Court of Justice ruled will be repealing. “It will be a power Heathrow expansion, the national
that, whatever it actually says, it’s got to implement whatever rules we come funding formula for schools, grammar
to be construed as if it’s consistent with up with in negotiations with the other schools expansion and English
the European obligations.” After Brexit, European countries,” Laws explains. devolution – not to mention Theresa
that that ruling will presumably lose its But the “nightmare scenario”, says May’s vague personal commitments to
force – but then how should the law be Sir Paul Jenkins, is no deal at all: “The social mobility and industrial strategy.
interpreted? “What you do about that, I legal consequences of no deal are much “There’s definitely a strain on
just don’t know,” Laws says. greater. If we just run out of time and ministerial attention. It’s absolutely
Despite the slimmed-down Queen’s there’s no extension – all the treaties critical that ministers are absolutely
Speech, the legislative workload for would cease to apply overnight, so clear about what the priorities are, so
Brexit still looks formidable. Emma there’s nothing.” that ministerial intention will guide the
Norris, programme director at the While much EU law could be copied system,” she says.
Institute for Government (IfG), reckons across to the UK statute book, treaties She adds: “This is not just about
Brexit will require at least 15 new bills, involving third parties would not operate. the Brexit departments – it’s about
plus the Repeal Bill itself. “On top of As an example, Jenkins cites the EU-US departments like DEFRA, the Ministry
all that, you’ve got everything that’s in of Justice, Revenue and Customs –
the Queen’s Speech and there’s lots of they’re going to be taking on roles they
legislation left over from the last session We have the simply haven’t played for decades. It’s
that didn’t get through in time. This is a enormously increasing their workload
parliament under strain,” she warns.
same problems and they’ve got to carry on with business
The IfG’s recent report, Legislating as before, but now as usual as well.”
Brexit, said the government and MPs it’s politically There are already signs that
need to strike a balance between proper difficult as well as government is short of skills it needs to
scrutiny of potentially controversial technically difficult.” negotiate and implement Brexit. In mid-
legislation and the need to move at speed May, it emerged that the five departments
to meet the Brexit deadline.
Sir Steven Laws most affected by Brexit – DExEU, DIT,
“I see parliament as a political filter for DEFRA, BEIS and the Home Office – were
proposals coming from the government,” urgently trawling other departments for
says Laws. “It’s really up to parliament to Departments policy staff, mainly at EO to Grade 6 level
set its priorities for what it thinks it needs are taking on – with candidates expected to move with
to scrutinise, and if it’s a question of how roles they simply just two weeks notice.
rather than what, fairly often parliament haven’t played for “I’m not sure the government has a
can adopt a looser approach to scrutiny, decades. It’s proper understanding of the capacity
as they already do with legislation and capability it needs to deliver Brexit,
coming from Europe.” enormously and what the implications are for
Laws, who was more optimistic than increasing their departments,” says Norris. “This is one
many commentators before the election, workloads.” of the key planning questions the new
says the inconclusive poll will make Emma Norris government will need to get a grip on.”
things much tougher. “The government Jenkins insists press reports about
is more vulnerable in the Commons to open skies treaty, without which there Remain-supporting civil servants
people trying to extract a price, more will be no legal basis for planes flying dodging Brexit-related jobs are wide
vulnerable in the Lords because it has from the UK to America. of the mark. “Everything I pick up
no mandate, and more vulnerable in “What I would like to ask David Davis suggests that’s rubbish. What I love and
committee because it may not have a is: ‘At what point in the next two years are admire about the bright kids that I had
majority,” he warns. you going to begin bilateral negotiations working with me is that so many of them,
“We have all the same problems as with the US government for a contingent whatever their personal views, have done
before, but now it’s politically difficult treaty so the planes can keep flying the what the British civil service does and
as well as technically difficult,” he adds. day after we fall out of the EU?’” he says. gone rushing into those departments
“They can’t use broad brush solutions Jenkins warns against leaving such because that’s where the action is.”
because people have the power to unpick contingency planning too late, because Despite the intense pressure, Jenkins
them – and that makes it technically the entire Brexit deal could fall apart at believes Whitehall can still pull it off. “I
more difficult too.” the last minute over a single issue, even wind all sorts of people up by saying I
What makes Brexit so fiendishly when the rest of it has been agreed. was a proud bureaucrat for 35 years and
complicated for legislators is that they There’s also a big risk that Brexit I’m still proud of it. If something can be
are aiming for a moving target. No one will become all-consuming, devouring sorted out, the great British civil service
knows what the final settlement will be, ministerial attention and leaving is capable of sorting it out.”
or if there will be one at all. departments unable to cope with
To deal with this, the repeal bill will anything else. Norris reels off a list of Craig Ryan is a freelance journalist and
give the government similar powers initiatives which were already going acting editor of Public Service Magazine.

26 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Crossword
Win and learn!
There will be a prize of a
Ego Trip by free FDA Learn/Keyskills
Incognito course or workshop, worth
approximately £150, for the
The clockwise perimeter
first correct entry drawn
starting at cell 19 is
to contain a 9-word after the closing date. Find
definition of X; seven of out more about the courses
these words are clued. on offer at: www.fda.org.uk/
Solvers must highlight professionaldevelopment/
the two clued entries FDA_Woorkshops.aspx
which together form an
or www.wearekeystone.
anagram of X. Perimeter
answers are clued as if org.uk/keyskills-courses
they are entered from Solution next issue.
left to right.

Solution and winner
Members by
Schadenfreude (Solution)

CLOCKWISE PERIMETER 22 Nervous client worried about international
1 Agreeable emotions certain to follow Presbyterian preacher (10)
prayer (8) 24 School class in favour of master (4)
The thematic items (italicised)
6 Old profligate American in debt prevailed (8) 27 Language of wise man (5)
are the 12 counties of Leinster,
11 Beginning at 24 across at sea (4) 28 Great skill shown by acting department
with WESTMEATH and
25 More than one disaster for Melody in head (9)
MEATH overlapping in the
Dodge (11) grid. MEATH was unclued and
30 Additional concern abandoned by bachelor (5) DOWN was to be highlighted.
29 Father's touring Spain and the French 2 Flies agitated a very short beach attendant?
nation (6) (9, hyphenated) Winner: J.S. Elliott,
19 Wicked woman out of Austria enthralled by 3 Absent means not at home (4) Home Office (retired).
Sumo wrestling (9) 4 German and freed criminal not given sufficient
grub (8)
How to enter
ACROSS 5 Conclusion not fully completed with page Crossword entries should be
9 Curt very loud worker interrupting Ohio missing (6)
sent by Friday 18 August 2017
newspaper chief (9) 7 Seawater covering giant foundering sailing to: Public Service Magazine
10 Implant that is finally approved stopped by boat (10)
crossword, FDA, 8 Leake Street,
doctor (5) 8 Small piece supporting live circuit (5) London SE1 7NN or by email
12 Boat carrying square shed (4) 14 Tea with this detention could provide bizarre (with ‘PSM crossword’ as the
entertainment (10)
13 Performer (a non-smoker) occupying farm subject) to psm@fda.org.uk
vehicle (10) 17 Outgoing executive trustee recovered from Please provide an email address
the effects of temperature (9)
15 Note one who sells perfume (8) so we can tell the winner how
16 Move quickly overcoming river current (6) 18 Beneficial to lock stronghold (8) to claim their prize.
19 Metaphysical poet doesn't finish Something 21 Some pupil afforded an Asian dish (6)
Wonderful (6) 23 Engrave part of a gun barrel (5)
20 Excellent work not accepted by tense chaplain 26 Shock crazy people from the south (4)
(8, hyphenated)

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 27
Books
Our look at the latest books on work, politics and public service

Jago concedes early on that the
confidential nature of a cabinet
secretary’s job means “few beans will
be spilled in the pages that follow”, but
he has interviews with the man himself
and access to Butler’s personal memoirs,
which were originally written solely for
the eyes of his family.
The book’s best chapters draw heavily
on these to shed new light on some of
the defining political moments of the
past four decades, putting readers in
the room during the Brighton bombing,
the ERM crisis, and the arrival of New
Labour’s coterie of “sofa government”
advisers. Throughout, Jago makes a
case for Butler as the “last in a line of
generalist, apolitical mandarins”, and
as the final cabinet secretary “who truly
believed in the sacrosanctity of cabinet
Robin Butler – At the heart of distinctly elitist interests ranging from government”.
power from Heath to Blair opera to archaeology; the civil service Less successful are fairly turgid
career that gets going only after a passages on Butler’s extra-curricular
By Michael Jago family friend arranges a chat with the and post-civil service activities,
Biteback, 432pp, £25 Treasury’s Auditor General… as you do. including an entire chapter on his time
But Butler’s gilded career path – as Master of University College. Jago’s
He was pilloried by the late within a decade he was directly advising tendency to hive off details of Butler’s
Robin Cook as “a wonderful Ted Heath as private secretary – also personal and family life into their own
specimen of the British owed much to the civil service’s pride chapters drains the main narrative of
establishment”, ripe for in its ability to “groom high-fliers and to some much-needed colour.
display in the Victoria shape their careers on their way to the Yet there’s plenty in here for today’s
and Albert Museum “as top”. civil servants to get stuck into, and Jago
a prize example of our ruling classes”. While Butler may have benefited from makes a strong argument for Butler as a
Journalist Owen Jones dismissed him the Old Boys’ Network, Jago’s book determined “conservative moderniser”.
as “born to rule”. And Jonathan Powell, depicts a ferociously hard-working, Butler, he argues, left the organisation
Tony Blair’s chief of staff, viewed him highly competitive, but good-humoured much more diverse than when he
as one of the last of “the old mandarin and dedicated public servant, who threw joined it, fought hard to get permanent
class”. himself into every new post with boyish secretaries on board with major reform
Yet, as this new biography from enthusiasm. As one former Treasury initiatives and, crucially, made it a
historian Michael Jago argues, there’s colleague puts it: “He made his way to big part of his job to get out and meet
more to Robin Butler – the Harrow head the top by being very good at all his jobs officials on the frontline.
boy who went on to become the bike- and not, I think, by stabbing people in The world may have changed
riding cabinet secretary to three prime the back.” immeasurably since Robin Butler’s day
ministers and a close confidant of two but, with such immense challenges now
more – than such crude caricatures facing the civil service, its leaders could
permit. His civil service career do worse than turn to Jago's book for a bit
For sure, critics of Butler and his ilk only gets going after a of perspective.
will find plenty of ammunition here: family friend arranges a chat
the education in “Greats”, complete with the Treasury’s Auditor
with Oxford sherry parties; the list of General... as you do Reviewed by Matt Foster

28 Public Service Magazine Summer 2017
Reviews

Dismembered: How the attack on the state harms us all

By Polly Toynbee and David Walker
Guardian Faber, 336pp, £9.99

If you had been messing extent to which public services have on the concept of public service itself.
about in a dinghy and been fragmented, and on “the crazy The authors suggest that “a calmer,
suddenly found yourself Gormenghast of tiers, bodies and non-partisan affirmation of public
floating out to sea, who agencies” which has been constructed value” is urgently needed, and that
would you expect to pull you – a process which, they claim, has been public servants need to demonstrate
out of the briny? I suspect driven by political dogma rather than more clearly the link between services
an American helicopter services firm clear evidence as to the efficiency of its provided to the public and the work
wouldn’t immediately spring to mind. outcomes. They are also critical of the of the offices and departments that
However, you would be wrong – at least use of private sector techniques to run organise and maintain them.
since April 2015, when Bristow Group services whose focus is public welfare However, the authors admit we need
won an 11-year contract to provide search rather than profitability. an open discussion between politicians
and rescue services around the UK Workers in the public sector have and the public about the size of the state
coastline. been all too aware of the constant war – about what services it should deliver
It has been an article of faith with of attrition that has been waged in and how much they would cost.
governments since the 1980s that the recent years on public services and Dismembered provides a valuable
state is cumbersome and costly and overview of the changing face of public
should be reduced in size whenever services. Written in a pacy and accessible
possible. Dismembered challenges The fragmentation of style, it’s a book well worth reading for
this position with data and personal public services has been anyone with an interest in social history
narratives demonstrating the impact it driven by political dogma or public affairs.
has had upon British society. rather than clear evidence of
Toynbee and Walker remark on the outcomes Reviewed by Anne Grikitis

Off the shelf Other recent reads
Kind of Blue mistake made by any British prime attitude alone is unlikely to cut it when
Ken Clarke minister in my lifetime.” We may now, of the workload keeps piling up.
Macmillan, 498p, £25 course, have a new contender.
Post-Truth: How Bullshit
Kind of Blue is, famously, Work-Life Brilliance: Tools to Conquered the World
a studio album by Miles Break Stress and Create the Life James Ball
Davis. It’s also the name of and Health You Crave Biteback, 320pp, £9.99
Ken Clarke’s autobiography Denise R Green
– though this is only ‘kind Amazon Kindle £7.98 Heard the one about the
of’ an autobiography: Pope backing Donald
having never kept a diary, Clarke simply Denise Green thinks that Trump? Or Hillary Clinton
recorded his memories into a Dictaphone those looking for ‘work- bulk-buying guillotines for
and let his long-suffering editors do life balance’ are fighting two million of her political
the rest. Similarly, these days Clarke a losing battle in today’s opponents? How about
is only kind of blue: since he entered always-on world, arguing that £350m a week for the NHS after
the Commons in 1970, his beloved that we only make Brexit? As this timely new book from
Tory party has become progressively ourselves feel guilty when we cut our Buzzfeed’s James Ball reminds us, we’re
more Eurosceptic, creating tensions working hours for family time. Instead, living in the age of political bullshit,
with a Europhile part of his identity she believes, we need to start taking with little in the armoury to combat it.
almost as important as cricket, football, better care of ourselves so that we’re Analysing both the Brexit and Trump
jazz and cigars. This book’s a highly more equipped for life's challenges – a campaigns to find out how telling fibs
enjoyable read for anyone interested process she dubs, in a rather American became the new normal, Ball’s book
in the Thatcher, Major or Cameron way, ‘Whole Life Integration’. As self- is a rallying cry for a better media, a
governments, but don’t expect a happy help books go, this one is actually rather better politics – and a lot less time spent
ending: as Clarke concludes, “David’s warm, funny and humane, and there agreeing with each other in the social
chancer-like gamble, taken for tactical are plenty of common-sense tips for media echo chamber.
internal party-management reasons, battling stress. But Green ignores the
turned out to be the worst political elephant in the room – having a positive Reviewed by Matt Foster and Matt Ross

Public Service Magazine Summer 2017 29
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The Moral Heart How to book an ad
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