They are no longer pushing for an agreement before the end of the year.
'An agreement before the end of 1995 isn't realistic any more,' Unison's head of local government, Keith Sonnet, said.
He hoped an agreement could be reached in time for single table pay bargaining in April next year. But after extensive consultation on both sides during the summer the timetable has slipped.
Any changes to the four-part structure of a single-status agreement have been rejected. The employers suggested that parts two and three, the mandatory and optional national provisions, could be combined (LGC, 14 July).
Unions want a standard 37-hour working week, with 36 hours for London - the current white-collar deal. Where better local deals exist they should be protected.
A single pay spine should be stretched to include senior managers outside the scope of the national agreement for chief officers.
There will be a national job evaluation scheme, which the unions want based on equal value. Councils can use the scheme at their discretion to slot staff into the pay spine.
The employers' suggestion that the set working week could be replaced by a seasonal or annual averaging of hours was rejected at national but not local level.
The Local Government Management Board has produced an 11- page booklet explaining the employers' position on single status. It will go out to councils next week.
Roadshows on pay and single status will take place this and next month in the LGMB regions.