Civil servants vote to strike over pay

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The government is facing a strike by civil servants after they voted in favour of industrial action over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union backed walkouts by 61 per cent and other forms of industrial action by four to one. Turnout was 28 per cent.

The union’s leadership will now discuss a programme of strikes and protests, with a decision expected tomorrow.

The ballot result raises the threat of industrial action by government employees around the time of the Budget later this month.

The union said median pay in the civil service was 4.4 per cent lower than similar private sector jobs. Since the onset of the recession in 2008, the real value of wages in both sectors had fallen by 7 per cent.