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National pay deals 'give better value'

NATIONAL pay bargaining saves management time and keeps pay rates down, according to an independent investigation published today, writes Barrie Clement.

The findings, by Industrial Relations Services, call into question the Government's policy of withdrawing central negotiations for 500,000 civil servants and ministers' encouragement of similar policies in the private sector. Most of the 79 employers' associations that took part in the survey reported a diminishing risk of industrial action, or conflict with unions, with central bargaining, and greater stability of costs. Of the 79, 51 negotiated wages on behalf of members.

IRS Employment Trends, issue 560; IRS, 18-20 Highbury Place, London N5 1QP.