Why are a million people on strike today?

Public sector workers are taking part in the biggest strike since 2011.

You’ve probably seen the banners from Unite, Unison and GMB outside government buildings. These unions are joined by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Fire Brigades Union, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance and the Public and Commercial Services Union.

Transport workers who are members of the RMT and the TSSA are also striking.

What’s it all about?

The main concern for unions is pay – most public sector workers have been offered a below inflation pay rise of 1% for 2014-15, but this follows four years of frozen pay.

This means pay is almost 20% lower in real terms than in 2010.

TUC research also shows public sector workers such as NHS staff, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and other public servants were on average £2,245 worse off in real terms since the coalition came into power.

Other issues, such as pensions and workload, are problems for specific unions, such as the NUT.

Which services are affected?

The government is planning to keep as much open as possible, however many schools are closed and firefighters have agreed to respond to major incidents.

Transport for London said the transport unions’ strike will have no effect on transport services.

Unison boss Dave Prentis told BBC Breakfast members had said “enough is enough”.

“When Cameron brought in the two-year pay freeze, our local government workers, our members, had already had a one-year pay freeze.

“So they’ve had a three-year pay freeze and then a 1% increase when inflation has gone up by something like 20%,” he said.

A government spokesman said the strikes would achieve nothing.

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