Britain?s local government council workers? unions won a contract settlement last night that includes a general raise of 7.8 percent, and a 10.9 percent increase in the wages of the lowest paid among their ranks, by working hard to cultivate public support that has been lacking in previous negotiations. This was achieved by focusing on the plight of bottom-rung public workers and the discrepancies between male and female pay, and carefully targeting their work stoppages to cause the minimum disruption of services to the public and the maximum of headaches for local governments. These tactics were largely responsible for the raises far higher than the three percent that the local government employers? association long held to as its best offer (see WIT?s for June 11, and August 1, 2002), and the establishment of commission that will likely implement further raises for the lowest paid female employees of local governments.