The Government has announced that almost 1.4 million public sector employees will receive a 1% pay rise from next month.
The Treasury said recommendations from a number of pay review bodies had been accepted, sparking anger from unions.
Unison, which represents 450,000 NHS workers including nurses, paramedics, therapists and midwives, said staff face another year of financial hardship.
The union condemned the second successive 1% annual increase as a "squeeze" on pay, which officials warned would leave many health workers and their families struggling to make ends meet.
More top news
Flooded in January, farming-driven Malawi ends 2015 facing its worst drought for more than 20 years. And now a slower tragedy is unfolding.
A hapless burglar has died from smoke inhalation and thermal burns after getting stuck in a chimney while trying to rob a house.
From the canals of Venice to a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, the effects of climate change are worryingly visible across the globe.