Civil servants are being asked if they would take industrial action in protest at the Government’s controversial cap on public sector workers’ pay.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) are being consulted on their willingness to mount a campaign of industrial action if the Chancellor does not offer “significant concessions” in next month’s Budget.
The union estimates that civil servants’ pay has fallen by up to £3,500 a year since 2010 and is calling for pay rises of 5% for all public sector workers.
The PCS and other unions have criticised the Government for announcing higher rises for police and prison officers, but not for other public sector employees.
The consultative ballot, covering over 160,000 workers in civil and public services across the UK, runs until November 6.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The Tories have no mandate to continue with the pay cap.
“PCS has consistently argued that capping public sector pay is counter-productive, unjust and unnecessary.
“We reject any divide and rule offers which seeks to pit some public sector workers against others.
“Civil servants keep this country running, yet they have seen cuts to their pay, pensions and redundancy terms as a result of the Government’s austerity policies.
“It is only right that our members have their say and send the Government and devolved administrations of this land a clear message over pay.
“We are clear – pay misery for public servants must end and the Government must restore public sector pay and invest in public services to levels that allow working people to live with the dignity and security they deserve.”