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SCOTS' PAY TALKS BREAK DOWN

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Negotiations on a pay rise for nearly 200,000 Scottish council workers collapsed last week, with unions claiming em...
Negotiations on a pay rise for nearly 200,000 Scottish council workers collapsed last week, with unions claiming employers were seeking to renege on last year's agreement.

'We are incensed by the employers' contempt for their staff,' said trade union side convenor Jane Carolan. 'They seem to think they can get away with tearing up agreements whenever it suits them.'

But Lynne Dixon, organisational development officer at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said both employers and unions had separately decided not to attend last week's meeting. 'We were not at a point where we could agree any times on the agenda,' she said.

The dispute once again surrounds the implementation of single status. Last year, Scottish staff accepted 3.3%, against 3% for their English and Welsh colleagues, as part of an agreement under which a reduction in working hours would delayed until the coming year then phased in.

Joint trade union side secretary Joe Di Paola accused the employers of trying to attach conditions to the 2000-01 pay offer, in direct contradiction to the agreement reached last year.

The agreement was that the costs of single status would not come out of pay packets, but negotiations would be held locally to minimise the costs to employers, he said.

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