Council staff in each of Scotland's 32 local authorities should receive a living wage of £7.20 an hour, unions have claimed.
In their annual pay claim, UNISON, GMB and Unite asked councils to bring an end to the two-year pay freeze introduced in 2010/11.
The unions also called for a £1000 flat rate payment for staff, aimed at benefiting those on the lowest incomes.
The claim covers all grades of workers in local government including refuse collectors, teaching assistants, social workers, administrators, cleaners, parks and leisure staff and librarians.
The unions are calling for a meeting with employers to discuss the pay claim.
Dougie Black, UNISON trade union side secretary, said: "The lowest paid have been hit the hardest and while the cost of living has risen sharply, their pay has stayed the same.
"Families are already struggling to make ends meet and if their pay is frozen for a second year and costs remain high, whole families will be pushed further into poverty.
"Council workers are already suffering from cuts to jobs and services and their terms and conditions are under attack at local level.
"To make matters worse, the £250 promised by the government to soften the blow of a pay freeze for the lowest paid has been denied to local government workers. While other low-paid public service workers have had this flat rate increase, yet again council workers go without."
Alex McLuckie, GMB trade union side secretary, added: "Council staff remain some of the lowest paid workers in the public service. This hasn't just happened overnight - council staff have been getting too little for too long and their real-terms pay has fallen backwards.
"These workers work hard to continually improve and deliver services for the public and it's high time these workers were recognised for the vital work they do by getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work."
Jackson Cullinane, Unite trade union side secretary, said: "The pay claim lodged today is fair and affordable and will make a big difference to low paid workers who have been bearing the brunt of government cuts for too long."
Eleven councils already pay their staff the living wage and six more councils have now confirmed they will pay it, while another two have indicated their intention to introduce the living wage.
A spokesman for local authority body Cosla said: "The bottom line is that pay in local government across all of the workforce is settled until April 2013.
"We acknowledge the financial pressures this has created. The majority of councils have responded by introducing the living wage of £7.20 an hour benefiting those at the lower end of the pay scales.
"Additionally, about one third of the workforce will have benefited from pay increments as they move up pay scales, where this applies."
The spokesman said: "We are appreciative that the local government workforce has acted with restraint and recognises the extremely difficult circumstances councils are faced with as they address the challenge of continuing to provide vital services at the same time as protecting as many jobs as possible.
"Talks with the trade unions representing the bulk of the workforce are already planned and will commence this week to examine the prospect of ending the current freeze on pay from April 2013 onwards."