Schools and public services across the UK have been affected by a strike by local government workers over pay.
Around half a million staff have joined the two-day action.
They are rejecting a below-inflation 2.45 percent pay increase, saying that rising prices mean the offer is effectively a pay cut.
Reena Wood, spokesperson for the UNISON Union said: “Because the cost of living has gone up so dramatically in fuel costs and price rises, our members are really angry and the fact is we’ve all contributed to making efficiency savings. Local government have got 11.5 billion pounds in reserves, they have got the money to pay us and we’ve helped to create that money so we should be paid a decent living wage.”
A government employers’ group has said that the multi-billion pound reserve is a contingency fund and to use it for pay would be “crazy economics.”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has taken a tough stance on public sector pay rises in a bid to combat rising inflation.