FDA (trade union)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
First Division Association (logo).png
Founded 1918
Members 18,000+
Affiliation TUC, STUC, ICTU, Wales TUC, PSI
Key people Dave Penman, general secretary
Office location Waterloo, London, England
Country United Kingdom
Website www.fda.org.uk

The FDA, formerly The Association of First Division Civil Servants, is a trade union for UK senior and middle management civil servants and public service professionals founded in 1918.[1]

Its over 19,000 members include Whitehall policy advisers middle and senior managers, tax inspectors, economists and statisticians, government-employed lawyers, crown prosecutors, procurators fiscal, schools inspectors, diplomats, senior national museum staff, senior civil servants, accountants and National Health Service (NHS) managers.[2]

Membership structure and affiliations[edit]

Its federal structure means that some sections of the union operate under separate branding. Three parts of the union have distinctive institutional features. Senior staff at HM Revenue and Customs join the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) which is also a certified trade union as well as a section of FDA. Managers in the NHS join Managers in Partnership (MiP), a joint venture with Unison of which MiP members are also members.[3] Members in middle management (Higher Executive Officer and Senior Executive Officers) join Keystone.[4]

The FDA is an affiliate of the Trades Union Congress, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Wales TUC and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions but is not affiliated to the Labour Party or any other political party.[2] The FDA is also affiliated to Public Services International.[5]


Despite often being known, particularly in the British press, as the "First Division Association",[6] the legal name is "FDA". It describes itself as "FDA - the union of choice for senior managers and professionals in public service".[2]

The original name, Association of First Division Civil Servants, was chosen because it represented first division clerks, as opposed to the Second Division Association, which represented more junior clerks. Although the terms first and second division clerks were abolished in the 1920s, it proved impossible to agree on an alternative name, and the name remained until 2000 when, following a motion to the union's annual delegate conference, the official name became "FDA".[1]

General Secretary[edit]

Dave Penman, formerly Deputy General Secretary, was elected unopposed as General Secretary in May 2012 [7] and took up office from July 2012.

Jonathan Baume was General Secretary from 1997 to 2012. He had previously been Assistant General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary of the union. The General Secretary from 1989 to 96 was Elizabeth Symons[8] and before her was John Ward (1980–88). The first full-time General Secretary was Norman Ellis who was appointed in 1974.[9]

In 1996, then Labour Party leader Tony Blair was criticised after he proposed outgoing FDA General Secretary Liz Symons for a peerage.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "FDA - What does the FDA stand for?". www.fda.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "FDA - Membership". www.fda.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  3. ^ "MIP: About Mip". www.miphealth.org.uk. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ Keystone
  5. ^ "PSI DIRECTORY OF AFFILIATED UNIONS" (PDF). Public Services International. March 2009. p. 125. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Whitehall officials 'protested over Labour spending'". BBC News. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010. Mr Baume, leader of the First Division Association, told 5 live's chief political correspondent... 
  7. ^ "David Penman elected unopposed as FDA General Secretary". www.fda.org.uk. 15 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  8. ^ a b Toynbee, Polly (25 August 1996). "First division Lady; profile; Liz Symons". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  9. ^ "FDA - FDA History". www.fda.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 

External links[edit]