Trade unions have criticised employers for failing to make a pay offer to local government staff yet.
Unison, GMB and Unite submitted claims for a 10% pay rise six months ago. However, the National Employers for Local Government Services warned in November it would not be able to respond to the unions' claim until the New Year because of the general election.
They have branded the delay 'unnecessary' and have written to the chancellor urging him to ensure councils can afford to meet the union's pay claim.
In a statement, the unions said: 'The pay talks have already been delayed due to the general election. While we welcome the employers’ commitment to meet in early February, the extra delay of a couple of weeks is unnecessary and unhelpful.
'The joint union message to employers is simple. We submitted our joint union pay claim well in advance of the pay timeline and don’t understand why they can’t make an offer now instead of further delaying pay talks.'
A spokesman for the employers said: 'The employers are committed to engaging in a meaningful way in order to achieve a pay deal that is fair to hard working employees and affordable for councils.
'We are aware of the time that has passed since the claim was laid and are looking forward to a face-to-face discussion with the unions in the coming weeks.'