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CRAFT DEAL POSES CLAIM DILEMMA

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Employers are facing an equal value dilemma, with craft workers insisting they should keep a separate pay structure...
Employers are facing an equal value dilemma, with craft workers insisting they should keep a separate pay structure.

Craft unions are in the middle of negotiating a single status deal to cover their members, parallel to the National Joint Council agreement for the majority of council staff.

Rob Cathcart, negotiator for the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, said craft unions had always 'clung very determinedly to national rates of pay'.

'We would be very reluctant to see those minimums reviewed and replaced by local rates and job grading. It's certainly feasible to leave craft workers out of job evaluation.'

But if DSO jobs such as builders, engineers and electricians are out of step with job grading and pay structures they could be used as comparisons in equal value claims.

Employers' secretary Paul Marwood said councils recognised that craft workers were 'part of the local government family' and a strategic approach should cover them as well.

Negotiations were at a delicate stage, but he hoped a pay deal and 'something that looks like single status' could be agreed by the end of May.

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