Workers at one of London’s top attractions “go to food banks to survive”, an employee has claimed.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one GMB union member who works at Hampstead Heath said some colleagues are struggling to survive due to the rise in the cost-of-living.

The open space is run by the City Of London Corporation, which boasts Tower Bridge, the Barbican, Spitalfields and Billingsgate Market, Epping Forest, Queen’s Park and West Ham Park among its other attractions.

“We don’t feel that the 3% pay rise that the City has offered us, considering that the cost-of-living is so high at the moment, is acceptable.

“Throughout the whole pandemic, we never had any time off, we all had to go to work.

“The Heath was a safe haven for members of the public, so the offer is a bit of an insult.

He added: “We’ve got colleagues who go to food banks to survive, that’s absolutely ludicrous.

“We just can’t afford to pay our bills because of the low pay rise that they’ve offered.”

GMB union members at these sites were issued with ballot papers for possible strike action on Thursday (January 12).

The Hampstead Heath worker claimed that the situation was “absolutely ludicrous”.

He said: “We feel like we’re not getting rewarded for what we do.

Anna Lee, GMB’s London Region Organiser, said the results of the strike ballot are expected in early February.

A City of London Corporation spokesperson said: “Our pay award gives all full-time employees at least £2,300 extra. In our view, it addresses the challenges staff face in the fairest way possible, while ensuring we meet our statutory duty to deliver a balanced budget.

“We appreciate how difficult it is for many people in the current economic climate and our one-off winter payment of £1,000 provided in October has given real, practical support to all our staff to help them cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

“The minimum pay increase awarded means our lowest paid staff – those most affected by the cost-of-living crisis – received an increase of over 12%.

 “Through talks with the unions and ACAS, we sought to find a solution acceptable to all, and we regret that this has not been possible. 

 “Providing the inflation-matching pay increase demanded by the unions would result in significant cuts to services, including making a considerable number of redundancies.”