The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) today launched a strike ballot of 120,000 members working in key UK government departments over pay.
Ministers have refused to lift the de-facto pay cap for civil servants last year despite giving other public sector workers a pay rise.
Since 2010 civil service pay has fallen by comparison with rises in the cost of living and the average civil servant, on a £26,000 salary, is now worse off by £2,110 a year.
The ballot will open today and close on the 29th April.
If members vote for action, there could be strike action as early as May this year.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Civil servants have had enough of being short changed by ministers and treated like second class public sector workers.
“After years of real terms wage cuts, our members will now be balloted with the aim of launching targeted and sustained strike action which will have a significant effect on key government departments.
“Ministers need to recognise that the people they employ to do some of the most critical work in the civil service and related areas. It is not good enough for the government to praise staff on the one hand for rising to the challenge of Brexit but then betray them on pay with the other.”
If the strike goes ahead in May, it will be the biggest walkout by the civil service since the coordinated pensions’ strike of 2011.
For more information, please click here.