Cabinet Office reveals offer – providing salary increase staggered over two years – has been made to participants in the civil service’s Fast Stream graduate scheme, a key source of tech talent
Digital specialists and other civil servants who are part of the Fast Stream programme for future high-fliers are being offered a pay rise worth 6.75% over two years after a resounding vote to strike among members of the FDA union.
Under the deal, announced this week by Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin, starting pay for fast streamers would rise from the current £28,840 for year ones to £30,455 in 2023-24 and £31,186 in 2024-25. So-called “spot rates” for fast streamers would see pay for year fours rise from the current £34,248 to £37,022 for 2023-24 and £38,836 for 2024-25.
Some members of the graduate programme – a key strand of which is the specialist digital, data, and technology track – may already be on higher rates and the deal pledges non-consolidated payments worth 5.6% of their salary in 2023-24 and 2.4% in 2024-25 in those cases.
An internal briefing on the deal said the pay rise – which will now be the subject of a ballot for members of the FDA union – would come on top of the one-off £1,500 cost-of-living payment being offered to rank-and-file civil servants as part of the settlement for ongoing pay disputes.
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The offer does not apply to members of the HR Fast Stream, who are covered by department-level pay arrangements. However the Cabinet Office said it is encouraging departments to align the pay of members of the HR Fast Stream with the updated offer for other fast streamers.
Quin’s deal also includes the introduction of a “London Location Allowance” for new postings to the capital from next month. It will see eligible fast streamers get a 4% salary boost for the current year and an 8% rise in 2024-25.
Announcing the deal, Quin said the proposals were the largest increase in Fast Stream pay since 2015.
“By recruiting and training the best talent, we are investing in a skilled workforce, as well as recognising the contribution that fast streamers make to the delivery of our public services, whilst being fair to taxpayers, who ultimately fund the civil service,” he said.
FDA national officer Lauren Crowley said the offer was “significant” and represented a “major win” for members who voted for industrial action.
“It was our successful ballot earlier this year, in which fast streamers made the case for pay reform loud and clear, that secured the commitment from the employer to negotiations on a new deal,” she said. “This will now be put to our Fast Stream members in a ballot in the coming weeks, and we will be recommending they vote to accept the pay offer.”
The FDA’s ballot on Fast Stream pay saw 88% of members back strikes to secure improved pay on a turnout of 60% – easily clearing the government’s legal threshold for industrial action. The union stressed pay in the Fast Stream had failed to keep pace with other parts of the civil service during more than a decade of freezes and sub-inflationary rises for officials.
Earlier this year the union said that since 2010 the Fast Stream starting salary had gone from £27,000 to £28,000 – a rise of 3.7%, while minimum pay for Cabinet Office HEOs had gone up by 15.6% nationally and 15.9% in London.