Trades unions have rejected a government suggestion to hold a 15-minute symbolic strike instead of a day of industrial action over cuts to public sector pensions.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude (pictured) told the Saturday Financial Times public sector workers would be allowed to keep their pay if they down tools for just 15 minutes on 30 November, instead of the whole day as planned.
Public sector workers are negotiating with government officials over proposed changes to their pensions, which will see them paying in more, receiving less, and working for longer.
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: "Ministers had better make their mind up whether they intend to negotiate genuinely in good faith or through the megaphone of media stunts.
"The way to resolve this dispute and avoid industrial action is to make real progress and acceptable offers in the negotiations."
Earlier this month, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander attempted to avert strike action by offering public sector workers a slightly better deal on pension accrual rates than originally proposed in the government's reform package.
Despite this, members of Unison, which represents 1.3 million workers, voted in favour of a day of industrial action at the end of the month.
Five other unions already have a mandate to strike due to earlier ballots, and 20 unions are currently balloting over the proposed action.
If all of them join, the event on 30 November will be the largest industrial action since January 1979.
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