Staff at the Valuation Office Agency, which employs 1,000 surveyors, went on strike today after spurning an increased pay offer.

The agency raised its initial pay offer from 1.25% to 3.49% but the workers, who provide property taxation services, insist that other issues, such as overtime payments, be resolved before they agree to settle. Talks are continuing.

An agency spokesperson said: “The agency is in discussions with the trade unions to explore options to reach an agreed pay settlement for 2007/08.”

Geraldine O’Connell, national secretary of union Prospect, said: “The treatment they have received is far from fair.”

Today’s strike was due to start at 1pm and finish at the end of the day. A second strike is planned for 14 March.