Trade unions are promising "coordinated" action to push the government towards a higher public pay settlement than 2.5% in two stages. BBC News asked delegates at the TUC's annual gathering what they thought.
KEVIN GREENWAY, PUBLIC AND COMMERCIAL SERVICES UNION
It's really disappointing that a Labour prime minister has just got into power and wants to take the unions on.
If you look at what directors are getting paid, they are the ones forcing up inflation - not public sector workers.
This pay deal fundamentally undermines the living standards of tens of thousands of people.
Many of our members are earning less than £15,000 a year. In fact, some staff at the Department of Work and Pensions are having to claim some of the benefits they administer.
And all the while living costs are going up.
We are ever hopeful that the deal can be changed. At some point something's got to happen.
JON ROGERS, UNISON
I believe we will see concerted strike action among local government workers and civil servants.
The pay offer is in fact a cut in real terms. That's having a very bad effect on morale.
A lot of our members are having problems paying their mortgages. I think we will persuade our members to take action.
FRAN HEATHCOTE, PCS
People see this situation as a kick in the teeth.
What we would want to see is a discussion, so we can speak to the government and state our case.
But this isn't happening and people are talking more about coordinated action. We will continue to do all we can to avoid strikes
GORDON GIBBS, GMB
We are going to ballot our members so that we can find out the mood of people towards the pay settlement.
This will take a lot of planning over the next few weeks.
Then we will see what is going to happen in terms of industrial action.
ANDREW BERRY, UNISON
The government has decided to take this course of action and we have got to fight back.
Gordon Brown has directed this whole issue from the top and the focus is going to be on "his" pay freeze.
Unions can overcome their differences to fight this.
MARION LLOYD, PCS
Gordon Brown is using public sector workers as scapegoats for the rate of inflation.
I don't see him saying much about the huge amounts being paid to City fat cats or talking about the vast sums going to private consultancy firms.
Many local government workers waited almost 20 years to see the back of the Tories. There is an expectation that Labour will deliver better public services.
But we have to start treating the people working in those services better.
The actions of the government are adding a lot of unity to the trade union movement.