UNISON believes that the offer is the best that can be achieved by negotiation. UNISON head of local government, Malcolm Wing, said:
'Although this does not match our 5% claim, I believe that this is as far as the employers will go, without some form of industrial action by the members.
'I do believe that the army of nursery workers, home carers, school meals staff, housing, clerical and all the others who help keep local government together are worth more.
A recent NOP survey conducted for the union found that as many as two thirds had considered leaving their jobs in the past 12 months and more than four in ten were actively looking for another job.
The pay talks covered 1.3 million local government workers. Settlement date is April 1.
Meanwhile, Jack Dromey, lead negotiator for the Transport and General Workers Union, described the 3% final offer from the local government employers for the 100,000 T&G members in local government as 'disappointing'.
He said: '3% is disappointing as a final offer for 1.2 million council workers. However, it was like pulling teeth to get to 3%.