Unions warned over unrealistic local government pay claims

Local
government employers have warned unions against lodging unrealistic pay claims
when the two sides meet to open negotiations tomorrow.

The
Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) condemned the hardline attitude of
local government departments after they imposed below-inflation pay offers –
some as little as half a per cent for living expenses.

However,
employers say that unions are making demands that cannot be met due to a lack
of resources.

Brian
Baldwin, chair of the employers organisation for local government, said a
broad-based agreement over three years was needed to take forward the agenda on
pay and conditions.

"At
the heart of our proposals is a desire to modernise working practices and
reward systems in local government to support the improvement of services and
greater efficiency in delivery," he said.

Baldwin
said the employers’ approach to boosting the pay of council workers was through
improving skills, services and productivity – an approach consistent with the
national pay and workforce strategy.

By Michael Millar

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