Industrial relations between Whitehall employers and trade unions are in need of a dramatic overhaul, the head of the senior civil servants’ union has warned.
Jonathan Baume, general secretary of the FDA, claimed employers and unions are equally to blame for a “shambles” that has hindered modernisation.
Public Finance magazine reports that, in a private speech to Whitehall agency chief executives, Baume said the current system that governs industrial relations across the Civil Service was no longer sufficient to cope with the pace of change across government.
“In far too many organisations, our current pattern of industrial relations works neither for employers, nor for staff themselves,” he said.
Civil service unions have repeatedly clashed with the government this year over job cuts, reorganisation and modernisation programmes.
Baume accused trade unions of “behaving too often irresponsibly” and being too focused on issues such as pay, and using the threat of strikes arbitrarily.
Employers, on the other hand, feign engagement with staff, isolating them from any meaningful input into decision-making, he said.