Jonathan Werran 08 May 2013

Unions declare war with councils over terms and conditions

Trade union leaders have vowed to declare war on any council seeking to enforce local reforms to nationally agreed terms and conditions - it has emerged.

Leaders from the three main local government trade unions, who met on Monday, agreed the 1% employers’ final pay offer to break the three-year town hall pay freeze was the best achievable result under the current circumstances.

However, Heather Wakefield, Unison head of local government told The MJ the unions unanimously deplored the deal as falling way short of expectations.

Ms Wakefield said the unions would be consulting with their members to accept or reject the offer on this basis. But she expressed the belief only sustained, all-out strike action would generate an improved offer and said the unions had reaffirmed they would not enter into talks over part two conditions in the ‘green book’– which affects annual leave, sick leave and parental rights.

‘So if they want a war over what are already rock bottom allowances, they’re going to get it – but it will be at local level,’ Ms Wakefield said.

GMB National Secretary for Public Services, Brian Strutton, told The MJ: ‘The national green book conditions provide an essential minimum safety net for so many workers that we will draw a line in the sand to defend it.’

A spokesman for the National Employers declined to comment.

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