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.'
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.