Johanna Baxter, UNISON head of local government said: “We have held detailed constructive talks with Deputy First Minister this evening at St Andrews House. We welcome that he listened to UNISON concerns and was keen to explore how he could support getting council pay talks pay back on track.
We were clear that we need to rethink not only the construction of the pay offer, so that those on the lowest incomes are fairly treated, we also need to explore ways in which we can increase the overall cash available to come to a fair offer.
There was a general agreement that only two negotiating meetings in eight months on pay was not acceptable, and better processes needed to be put in place to facilitate finding speedier solutions on pay.
Although we do not have an offer today UNISON will continue to work with the Deputy First Minister and COSLA to find a way forward towards a solution that benefits all our members.”