Public sector workers set for up to 3.5% pay rise after seven-year wage freeze

A million public sector workers will pick up pay rises after intense pressure on the government, according to reports.

It is thought that the staff will receive increases of up to 3.5% – although union bosses have been pushing for a more generous 5%.

The move, expected to be announced today, comes after Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to abolish a seven year cap on public sector pay rises.

Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010. Since 2013, rises have been capped at 1%.

In March the Prime Minister was urged to give all public sector workers a rise after striking a deal with short-changed NHS workers, who were awarded a 6.5% increase over three years.

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd said at the time: "Questions still remain about our wider public sector workers, who have suffered under austerity pay cuts.

"We must now see an end to the pay cap once and for all."

The pay increases will vary between 1.5% and 3.5%, with the money set to come from savings across government departments.

A Whitehall insider reportedly revealed: "Our outstanding public servants work hard for us all – that’s why we’re announcing new pay awards.”

Among those set to benefit from today’s announcement are police, prison officers, teachers and members of the armed forces.

Members of the PCS trade union – which represents public sector workers – voted by a majority of 85% in favour of strikes against the pay cap earlier this month.

But this was thwarted by a law stating that 50% of members had to vote in order for industrial action to be legal.

In the aftermath the PCS said: "PCS members have delivered the highest yes vote and turnout in the history of the union. But undemocratic, anti-union strike laws, implemented last year, will prevent strike action."

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