It's not a victory for anyone. If you work in the public sector (as I do) it's not much of a rise, especially if you're at the top of your pay scale. Outside the public sector lots of people view this kind of rise as unfair because they don't get cost of living (especially those in self employment). Others get whackingly huge rises each year plus bonuses.
I appreciate fully that the general view of the public sector is of bean counters in offices working 9-5 Mon-Fri with every weekend off. A lot of the office public sector folk I know work very long hours trying to do things that make other people's lives more bearable. My own team are mostly overqualified and all well experienced, work long hours doing often very physical tasks, are involved in developmental and strategic planning, consultation, in contact most of every day with the public and if they don't know the answer to an obscure question they do need to have a good idea of where to go to try and find the answer. Our colleagues may be care home workers, trainers, countryside officers. We're not all bean counters by any means.
See - I can't bore people vocally at the moment so I have to resort to LJ for my brainless ranting...