Local councils have started early discussions about next year's annual pay claim.
The first two meetings in London involving representatives from the capital's authorities kicked off a series of nationwide consultations looking at pay and reward in the sector.
The conclusions will form part of the newly establish independent Pay Commission's proposals for the future of salaries in local government.
The Pay Commission is a joint body set up by employers and unions to review pay in the sector following last year's industrial action by council staff over the annual pay increase.
Charles Nolda, executive director at the Employers' Organisation for Local Government, said: "The Pay Commission will have a big influence on future arrangements for pay and conditions in local government.
"Employers need to put the most persuasive possible case to the commission based on local authorities' needs and wishes. That is why we are consulting authorities now in the run up to the commission's deadline of the end of April for submissions."