The Government's hopes of resolving the bitter dispute over public sector pensions received a fresh blow yesterday when leaders of thousands of council workers rejected a final offer.
Unite's national local authority committee turned down the proposed deal, saying "genuine discussions" should be held without "arbitrary" deadlines.
The move follows a similar decision last week by the union's health executive. The two biggest teaching unions also refused to sign up to the deal.
Leaders of the biggest public sector union, Unison, will meet today to consider the final offer, while unions will hold talks at the TUC later this week to decide their next move.
Up to two million workers went on strike in November to protest at planned changes to their pensions and some union leaders have warned of more industrial action.