A staggering 87 per cent of local government workers are struggling to cope with increased stress and pressure at work, research by UNISON has found. The survey of more than 14,000 workers by UNISON discovered a 'toxic cocktail' of declining staff numbers (70 per cent) and increasing expectations from the public (61 per cent) and employers (82 per cent), is piling on the pressure. Overall, 72 per cent say stress is affecting how well they can do their jobs, and 70 per cent say that workplace stress is affecting their personal life. UNISON is urging the government to slow down the multi-billion pound cuts currently hitting councils. It says job losses have already hit 250,000, making it difficult to provide services in high demand as communities struggle to cope with the recession. 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. Multi-billion pound cuts, and 250,000 job losses as calls for services increase, means impossible demands are being placed on stressed out council workers. 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.' She concluded: 'The government has to ease the pressure on councils, allow them to pay staff a rise this year and slow the cuts and closures to give the public the services they need in this hour of need.'