Carol Paton Editor at Large

Talks between the government and public-sector trade unions on the dispute over wages recommenced last week with the government putting a new offer on the table.

In terms of the three-year wage agreement between the parties, public servants should have received increases of between 4.3% and 5.4%, depending on their pay grade, on April 1. But the government, which is seeking to cut expenditure and slow the growth of the public-sector wage bill, has said that it cannot afford to make the increases. Instead, in March it proposed a wage freeze for 2020/21.

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