Council chiefs are condemning women to a low-pay future, Unison claims.
Local authorities have recommended a move towards local pay bargaining, in their submission to the local government pay commission. But Unison has criticised the proposal as “dangerous and dated”, warning that it will see female council workers face even lower pay.
The union represents more than 860,000 local government workers, 75 per cent of which are women and form the biggest group of low paid workers.
They would be big losers out of any move to local bargaining, as recommended by the employers, the union says.
Heather Wakefield, Unison's national secretary for local government said: “We fear that employers wish to use local bargaining to 'peg' women's jobs to market rates, which they know can be lower than those in councils.
“We have already seen evidence of this with homecare workers, who are facing increased privatisation and erosion of their wages.
"We have no confidence that the employers would approach local bargaining with the needs of the majority of the workforce in mind, given the general lack of awareness of equality and pay issues demonstrated by their track record and approaches to job evaluation and pay."