Long-term pay deals face council worker test
Plans by the Labour Party government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to increase fiscal and electoral stability by negotiating multi-year contracts with public sector unions (see yesterday?s WIT), will tomorrow be applied to the current contract negotiations for local government council workers. With only two weeks elapsed since the first nationwide local workers? strike in two decades (see WIT for July 17, 2002), Labour Party officials are eager to head off another such strike planned for August 14 and minimize the possibility of such a strike occurring before the next round of general elections. Whether or not the local government employers? association will be able to achieve these goals is very much in question, as the unions representing local council workers---some of whom make less than $7.80 an hour---have turned down a three-percent raise and continue to press their demands for more significant pay increases.