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A new pay offer was made to Scottish local government employees at a meeting of the Scottish Joint Council today. ...
A new pay offer was made to Scottish local government employees at a meeting of the Scottish Joint Council today.

The offer allows for a pay increase of 2% from April 1, 2000, and a further 1% from October 1, 2000, along with changes to conditions of service for which local government unions have been calling.

But following the unions' rejection of the offer, Pat Watters, COSLA's vice president and organisational development spokesperson, expressed his disappointment: 'The unions have acknowledged that Scottish councils do not have money in their budgets to offer a pay award beyond 2.5% this year.

'We have tried to make that amount - around£100m - go as far as possible with this revised offer and it is disappointing that it has been rejected and that Unison is to continue with strike action.'

Councillor Watters added that the announcementyesterday by Scottish executive finance minister Jack McConnell, of three-year spending plans recognising pay and price inflation was good news for council workers.

'In fact, this is far more important to our staff than any quick fix for this year will be - it is a major change in government policy which will give us much more leeway in cash terms for pay deals and we must all now look to the longer term in pay negotiations and improving pay packages.

'However,' Mr Watters continued, 'we still have to resolve this year's pay negotiations. I hope that our employees will think carefully about what is now on the table.

'We now have the opportunity to look to the future - for the first time in seven years the government has recognised the enormous pressures placed on councils by meeting the cost of pay awards and I hope our colleagues in the unions will join us now in planning for the future.'

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