Senior civil servant to government: Stop calling us awake, lazy snowflakes 2023

The leader of the senior public workers union has urged Rishi Sunak to stop ministers from calling officials “lazy, woke, inefficient, remainer snowflakes” or “machiavellian geniuses” aiming to overthrow the government.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, also accused the prime minister of treating civil servants like “second-class public-sector workers” after the government offered them a worse wage agreement than teachers and health workers.

After a year of strikes, threatening job cutbacks, the dismissal of the Treasury permanent secretary, and Dominic Raab and Gavin Williamson harassing employees, Penman will speak at the Whitehall conference.

“Workloads are still increasing and resources are frozen as inflation delivers real-terms cuts to budgets,” Penman, whose union represents senior civil servants, will address the conference.

Senior government official to the administration: Stop calling us awake, lazy snowflakes.

“Now, having been told you’re a lazy, woke, inefficient, remainer activist snowflake, you are also now a machiavellian genius, able to unseat ministers and undermine the settled will of government,” he will say, referring to Raab’s claims of activist civil servants trying to remove him.

I’m done, conference. We must eventually declare, “Enough.” Ministers must show civil servants respect. They assigned a number, not us. They think the cost of living crisis should be addressed for certain public workers but not others, and they drove the FDA into balloting for strike action.”

For the first time in 40 years, the FDA has voted to strike over salary, joining Prospect and PCS federal officials on the picket line. The government awarded most civil officials a 4.5% wage increase and no cost-of-living lump bonus, unlike other sectors.

Penman will also criticize Sunak for supporting Raab despite bullying allegations.

The general secretary will remark, “Faced with those concerns from civil servants, what did he do? He appointed Raab as deputy prime minister and reappointed him to the departments that generated concerns. What does that say about how the prime minister regards public servants?

After the former cabinet minister stated he was tipped off that unionized officials were targeting him, he will address “accusations that have been laid at our door by the bully Dominic Raab and his acolytes”.

The FDA has no minister “hitlist.” The FDA does not encourage complaints, but it will always defend its members against bullies.

“As Adam Tolley KC made clear in his report Mr. Raab, maybe if you spent a bit more time looking in the mirror, and a bit less time looking for reds under the bed, things might have turned out differently for you.”

After the Raab incident, some top former civil employees encouraged Sunak to defend the public service. Last month, former UK civil service director Bob Kerslake warned the prime minister that Raab’s “torrent of invective against the civil service” might poison Whitehall.

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