Supposedly independent public sector pay review bodies have not done their job properly and have been dictated to by the government over pay awards, unions have claimed.

They made the accusation after the bodies effectively rubber stamped the government’s proposals on a pay freeze for public sector workers earning over £21,000.

As we reported yesterday, the pay review bodies said that those earning £21,000 or less would get a £250 pay rise increase in the next financial year but those earning more will have their pay frozen for two years. The pay deal covers teachers, prison officers, the armed forces and the NHS (but not doctors and dentists). It doesn’t include police and local government workforces, who are not covered by pay review bodies.

A statement by the Prison Officers Association said: “The pay review body have not done their job properly.”

At the same time, the National Union of Teachers said its pay review body had “colluded” with the government and Unison complained about the government’s “interference” with the pay review bodies’ independence.