Most council workers are struggling to cope with increased stress levels

Social workers and other local government staff across England, Northern Ireland and Wales feel the stress and pressure piled upon them as a result of job cuts and increasing demand is affecting their ability to provide services.

Picture credit: Monkey Business Images/Rex Features
Picture credit: Monkey Business Images/Rex Features

Nine out of 10 council workers are struggling to cope with increased stress and pressure at work, a survey by Unison has revealed.

The findings come a day after adult services directors in England warned they will have to make further cuts next year and that services they are commissioning are declining in quality.

Of the 14,000 local government workers questioned by Unison, 70% said the number of staff in their service had decreased. Unison estimates that a quarter of a million local government jobs have been cut as a result of the government’s spending cuts.

Almost two-thirds (72%) of the respondents said stress was affecting how well they could do their jobs and a further 70% said it was affecting their personal life.

Three out of every five employees believe they are not paid fairly for the work they do.

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.

“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.”

Unison surveyed 14,756 council employees across England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 23 January and 11 February.

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