Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Unions to protest over Darlington council tax freeze

Up to 100 council staff are to lobby a cabinet meeting of Darlington council over plans to freeze council tax.

The workers claim that if the move goes ahead hundreds of low-paid staff will face pay cuts of 10%.

They say the reductions will come about because Sunday, bank holiday, and overtime rates will be abolished. Unions want a tax rise to maintain pay.

The authority has said it is committed to the freeze to lessen the financial impact on residents and businesses.

One of the unions, Unison, claims that if the council tax were raised by one per cent, low-paid staff need not lose out and most council tax payers would have to pay 30p extra a week.

Alan Docherty, Darlington branch secretary, said: "I am bitterly disappointed that the council puts election gimmicks before its hard-working, low-paid staff."

Darlington Borough Council has yet to comment on the protest, but said it was committed to freezing the council tax to lessen the financial impact on residents and businesses.

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