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COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Katie Hagmann said today (Thursday): “I am doubly disappointed today, firstly with the rejection itself, but perhaps more importantly, with the fact that they did not take the revised offer to their membership for consideration.

“We have continued to conduct these negotiations in good faith and kept communication channels open at all times.

“We absolutely value all our Local Government Workforce and throughout these negotiations Council Leaders have re-iterated the value we place on the Workforce and the work that they do.

“That is why we enhanced an already strong offer yesterday, with Council Leaders going to the absolute limits of what Local Government can afford.  The simple fact of the matter is that we have no more money available for pay without real cuts to jobs and services.

“It must be remembered that we are talking about a pay package worth over £440 million, specifically targeted at the lower end of our workforce.  A pay package which not only compares well to other sectors but recognises the cost-of-living pressures on our workforce and which would mean the lowest paid would see a 21% increase in their pay over a two-year period.

“Whichever way you cut it, this is a very strong offer in the financial climate we find ourselves.  We have a duty to ensure that services are sustainable within the funding for pay we have available.

“I am disappointed with today’s rejection . However, we will continue to engage as positively as we can with the Trade Unions as strike action is in nobody’s interests.”