Fears over the threat of redundancy, funding cuts and increased workloads are at the forefront of public sector workers' concerns, according to a new study.
In the current economic climate, concerns have been heightened that spending cuts will increase, leading to more staff shortages and heavier workloads for those who remain. This would also be likely to drive down the quality of service, research by the union UNISON suggests.
To combat fears, the union wants the government to maintain spending despite the recession, especially as it says thousands of public sector workers have already lost their jobs in the past 12 months.
With public spending emerging as a key political issue in the run up to next year's general election, UNISON warned that spending cuts would turn back the clock to the recruitment "crisis" in the health, education and council services before Labour came to power in 1997.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: "Our survey dispels the myth that public sector workers are immune from the worst effects of the recession."
The survey of 100 Unison branches across the UK also revealed low morale among public sector staff.