Union officials turned down the opening offer from council employers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in response to a claim for a 5 per cent or pounds 500 increase, whichever was greater. Further talks will be held on 23 February ahead of an April settlement date.
Virginia Branney, deputy head of local government for Unison, the public sector workers' union, said: "This is a disgraceful and derisory offer which the trade union side has rejected. We urge the employers to think again."
Mick Graham, head of local government for the GMB general workers' union, said: "The offer is completely unacceptable in the light of the pay awards announced earlier this week for other public-sector workers."
A spokesman for the employers said the offer would add pounds 260m to the pay bill, and added that under a previous agreement workers' hours will be cut from 39 to 37 from April.Reuse content