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A plan by the local government employers to end the right to go to ...
A plan by the local government employers to end the right to go to

arbitration if pay talks break down is to be opposed by Unison, because it

would undermine negotiations and set the scene for a big national dispute.

The proposal, from the national Employers' Organisation, would rule out

arbitration if the other side objected.

Unison's head of local government Malcolm Wing said:

'The arbitration clause in our national agreement has never been used.

However, the threat that either party can refer a matter to arbitration

concentrates minds. It is clear that a number of councils feel that without

the threat of arbitration, they could have offered less than the 3.5% pay

increase agreed earlier this year.

'The Employers' Organisation acknowledge that we have a very good record of

negotiating agreements in difficult circumstances. Ending arbitration would

undermine that good record and set the scene for a big set piece national

dispute sooner rather than later.'

The issue will be discussed at a joint meeting of the National Joint Council

on 23 October 2001.


Unison has 800,000 members employed in local government. The National Joint

Council covers 1.3 million local authority employees in England, Wales and

Northern Ireland.

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