Illness-stress-workEighty-seven per-cent of local Government workers are struggling to cope with increased stress and pressure at work, according to a survey by UNISON.

The study of more than 14,000 local Government workers found that 72% feel stress is affecting how well they can do their jobs, while 70% say that workplace stress is affecting their personal life.

When asked what is causing pressure at work, 82% cited increased expectations from employers as the reason, while 70% said declining staff numbers was to blame.

To attempt to tackle the issue, the Union has stated that it is calling on employers to recognise that councils cannot function without its workforce and also to ease the pressure on the three year pay freeze.

It says that pay has fallen by 15% in real terms since the Coalition took office, and that freezing pay as inflation remains high has left local Government workers struggling to make ends meet.

The research found that 40% feel that they are paid fairly for the work they do, and Heather Wakefield, Head of local Government at UNISON, said:

“Working in local Government is like living in a pressure cooker and eventually the lid will blow off. Workers can’t take any more.

“Multi-billion pound cuts and 250,000 job losses as calls for services increase means impossible demands are being placed on stressed out council workers.

“And the stress at home continues. The pay freeze means it’s a constant financial juggling act as red bills pile in and wages just don’t match up.”

She added:

“The Government has to ease the pressure on councils, allow them to pay staff a rise this year and slow the cuts and closures to give the public the services they need in this hour of need.”

14,756 people were surveyed who work in councils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 23 January and 11 February 2013.