UNISON workers workers joined a national protest today to ramp up their campaign for fair pay and fair council funding.

Halton Unison members rallied outside the Municipal Building in Widnes to highlight the dire state of local government pay and the impact of cuts on local jobs and services.

Since 2010, council workers have endured a three year pay freeze and a received only a one per cent increase last year.

Council budgets have been cut by 40 per cent since the coalition government came to power.

Paula Barker, Halton branch secretary said “We are delighted with the support we have received today, particularly from members of the general public who stopped to take a leaflet and chat with us.

“From the cradle to the grave, you expect council services to be there for you when you need them. Council services are now being dismantled, services which were built up over many years to make our communities a decent and safe place to live.

“If the cuts aren’t stopped, our services won’t be there when local people need them. Councils need more money. They need a funding system that ensures each area gets enough money to meet the particular needs of its communities.

“Our members provide an excellent service and should be paid accordingly. Lots of our members are struggling to make ends meet.

“We are not asking for the 14 per cent pay increase that some top company bosses and bankers are being given but are asking for fair pay.

“Low pay is bad for local services, bad for our members and bad for our local economy. If no one can afford to buy local goods and services, shops, restaurants and businesses will close and everyone suffers.”