Local government strike action looms after talks stall

national strike by council workers is looming after pay talks between unions
and local government employers broke down last week.

tabled a proposed 7 per cent pay increase over three years, but unions
dismissed it, saying the offer would not deliver decent pay to local public
service workers.

unions involved – Unison, the Transport and General Workers’ Union and the GMB
– want a one-year deal worth 4 per cent to all workers, and the abolition of
the three bottom rungs on the pay ladder.

would bring the minimum wage in local government up to £6 per hour –
significantly above the £4.85 National Minimum Wage which is expected to be
announced by Gordon Brown in this week’s Budget.

Walker, chief negotiator for local government, said he was very disappointed
the unions had failed to take the offer seriously, and that employers were
looking for a way to explore union demands.

said affordability was a crucial issue, but the unions had to appreciate this
would have to be funded by council tax rises.

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