Local government HR body Socpo is optimistic the proposed pay settlement for the sector will improve council services.
Unions are urging members to accept the Employers' Organisation for Local Government's two-year pay offer, which includes a council minimum wage of £5 an hour and pay increases for some staff of up to 10.9 per cent.
Staff ballots finish in mid-September and all industrial action has been suspended until then.
Keith Handley, immediate past president of Socpo, believes that the pay offer is good enough to help tackle local government's key issues of attracting, retaining and motivating staff.
"If the proposals are agreed, I think they will improve local government," he said. "The new two-year pay deal will surely improve recruitment and retention issues and employee morale that will spin off into improved services.
"I am pleased with a two-year deal - in fact my own preference would have been a three-year deal. The national industrial relations climate is changing as we move into the Government's second period of office and nobody wants to see the local government pay round becoming an annual arena for strike action."
Meanwhile, the GMB trade union has warned local government's private sector contractors that they face strike action unless they implement the pay deal.
The union has given contractors until 20 September to adopt the pay proposals. If they fail to do so, the union will then ballot staff over industrial action. The union fears a two-tier workforce if contractors do not accept the pay recommendations.
Mick Graham, national secretary at the GMB, said: "It is only fair that all staff providing local government contracts are paid the same."
By Paul Nelson