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PCS launched a major ballot on strike action over pay today.
The civil servants’ union is balloting 150,000 members on action that could see the machinery of government hit by waves of strikes over summer.
The workers have seen the value of their wages plummet every year because of the government’s 1 per cent cap on pay increases.
Cabinet officials have said that any increase over 1 per cent must be found through “efficiencies” such as redundancies in individual government departments.
The union is recommending a Yes vote. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members have been singled out amongst public-sector workers.
"The de-facto 1 per cent pay cap remains in place, and we are absolutely disgusted at the government for misleading the union.
“Ministers gave us assurances earlier in the year that hard-working government staff would be rewarded for all the issues they have had to face up to.
“Instead they are being offered a paltry 1 per cent pay increase when they have had to cope with job cuts, Brexit and issues as difficult as universal credit and the Windrush scandal.
“We want a negotiated settlement, but we are prepared for a period of sustained action if the government doesn’t offer its hard-working staff a meaningful pay rise.”
He said workers were left with no option but to ballot on strike action. The ballot closes on July 23.
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