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FDA logo.png
Founded 1918
Members 18,000
Country United Kingdom
Affiliation TUC, STUC, ICTU, Wales TUC, PSI
Key people Jonathan Baume, general secretary
Office location Waterloo, London, England

The FDA is a trade union and professional association for senior civil servants and public service professionals in the United Kingdom founded in 1918.[1] Its 18,000 members include Whitehall policy advisers and senior managers, tax inspectors, economists and statisticians, government-employed lawyers and crown prosecutors, schools inspectors, diplomats, senior national museum staff, senior civil servants, accountants and National Health Service (NHS) managers. [2]


Membership structure and affiliations

Its federal structure means that some of its members do not join FDA directly, but rather an affiliated organisation. In particular, senior staff at HM Revenue and Customs apply to the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC),[3] and management in the NHS join Managers in Partnership (MiP).[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", 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, 'The Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA)' 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

Jonathan Baume has been General Secretary since 1997 and was previously Assistant General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary.[6] The previous General Secretary (1989-96) was Elizabeth Symons[7] and the one before her was John Ward (1980-88). The first full time General Secretary was Norman Ellis who was appointed in 1974.[8]


In 1996, then Labour Party leader Tony Blair proposed outgoing FDA General Secretary Symons for a peerage, a move seen by some in the trade union movement as a deliberate gesture underlining New Labour's move away from its traditional working-class base.[7]

At the 2006 TUC Conference, the FDA was one of the few affiliates to vote against support for the Trade Union Freedom Bill.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "FDA - What does the FDA stand for?". Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  2. ^ a b c "FDA - Membership". Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  3. ^ "FDA welcomes appointment of new HM Revenue and Customs' chair".$1228766$364325.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  4. ^ "MIP: About Mip". Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  5. ^ "PSI DIRECTORY OF AFFILIATED UNIONS" (PDF). Public Services International. March 2009. p. 125. Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  6. ^ "FDA - Jonathan Baume Biography". Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  7. ^ a b Toynbee, Polly (25 August 1996). "First division Lady; profile; Liz Symons". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  8. ^ "FDA - FDA History". Retrieved 2009-04-11.  
  9. ^ "TUC delegates in Brighton vote to back trade union freedom bill". 12 September 2006.$450221.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-11.  

External links



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