Unions consider mediation measures in local government pay

Local
government unions are to give further consideration to including conciliation
and mediation as part of planned changes to the way the annual pay award is
negotiated.

At
last week’s National Joint Council meeting, the unions initially opposed the
proposals, but agreed to more talks on whether conciliation or mediation should
be part of the pay negotiations.

Charles
Nolda, executive director of the Employers’ Organisation for Local Government,
said, "It is disappointing that the unions have not initially accepted the
proposal. We will be pressing the unions on the matter as it is important that
the negotiations procedures are modernised and improved. The NHS and the Civil
Service did so several years ago, local government should do so as well.

"Employers
are in favour of trying conciliation or mediation to reconcile differences. We
do not want conflict, but neither do we want a system that means arbitration is
compulsory with both sides having half an eye on outsiders coming in at a late
stage in the process and making their claims and offers with that in mind.

"We
need to re-establish the primacy of negotiations, modernise our approach and
make the necessary changes."

By Paul Nelson

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