Independent arbitration to settle two-tier workforce

Employers and unions have agreed to independent and binding arbitration to
settle disputes over ‘two-tier’ workforces in local government.

Under a new code of conduct unveiled earlier this year, which covers
contracts between local authorities and private firms, future staff will
receive pay and conditions which are no less favourable than those of
transferred staff. Subject to approval by local government minister Nick
Raynsford, the code will be enforceable through independent and binding
arbitration, which is expected to be delivered by Acas.

Mary Mallett, president of the Society of Personnel in Local Government (Socpo),
welcomed the agreement. "Enlightened public authorities have been doing
this sort of thing for years," she said. "If you treat people like
commodities, they will behave as such. They will either jump ship or will not
feel committed."

The CBI described the new deal as "workable for business".

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