Employers have yet to decide whether to consult individual councils on an offer of 2.75% this year, 2.95% next year and 2.95% the following year (LGC, 11 June).
Durham CC head of personnel services John Lee said: 'We would expect to be consulted [on the offer].' He added: 'It's going to hinge on the balance between affordability - and it will be very tight at around 2.75% - and the desire to get a settlement without industrial action. I'm a bit unsure about the 2.95% . . . clearly somebody has the view it has to be less than 3%.'
Newcastle City Council head of organisational development Peter Bower said the offer was 'affordable' but 'as much as we would want to afford because of other financial pressures'.