HEREFORDSHIRE UNISON members took a fairer funding fight of their own to Hereford Town Hall today (Tues).

The picket was part of a national “day of protest” at council pay.

UNISON says local government pay is in a “dire” state.

Herefordshire area organiser Steve Akers said that since 2010 local government workers have endured a “devastating” three year pay freeze and then a “miserly” 1% increase last year - representing an 18% fall in pay in real terms while council budgets have been cut by 40%.

“Enough is enough – we have shown our commitment to keeping our local services going against all odds and we now need a commitment from the local government employers to finally make us a decent pay offer, " said Mr Akers.

UNISON, GMB and Unite - the unions representing 1.6 million local government workers – formally submitted their pay claim to employers last November, and expect a formal pay offer later this month. The unions are seeking a £1.20 an hour minimum increase to bring the bottom rate of pay in local government to the level of the living wage and restore some of the pay lost by higher earners.

More than half a million local government workers earn less than the current living wage and a million earn less than the government's low pay threshold of £21,000 a year. The living wage is £7.65 and £8.80 in London. Part-time workers - mainly women and more than half the local government workforce - have been particularly hard hit, with their hourly earnings now worth the same as they were 10 years ago. Many low paid part-time Local Government workers need benefits and tax credits.

Herefordshire Council leader councillor Tony Johnson recently took the council’s fight for fairer funding to Prime Minister David Cameron. That campaign wants funding settlements for cuts-slashed councils to reflect rural pressures.