COUNCIL workers have backed industrial action against the Government over pay and cuts.

Unison said its local Government and school support members yesterday voted 58 per cent in favour of action.

It means Essex faces the prospect of a huge public sector strike on Thursday, July 10, with the National Union of Teachers already taking industrial action on that date.

The union’s national committee will meet to decide the next steps.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our schoolchildren and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets.

“They are mainly low paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this Government. This is the group that has borne the brunt of the Government's austerity agenda.

“We will now be discussing next steps, but we call on the employers to get back into talks to agree a fair deal for local government and school support workers.”

Members of other leading unions are already voting on strikes, with a day of action set to be held on July 10.

The GMB and Unite will announce voting results over the next week, while the Public and Commercial Services union is also balloting its members for a strike in a long-running dispute over cuts in the civil service, with the result also due by the end of the month.