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Local Authority Staff (Pay)

Volume 981: debated on Thursday 27 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make a statement on any action which he proposes to take following the breakdown of negotiations in the Local Authorities National Joint Council on a comparability award to APT and C staff, and the commencement of industrial action by the National and Local Government Officers Association;(2) if he is satisfied that the offer to local authority APT and C staff based on the new earnings survey is within the terms of reference of the examination of the comparability award;(3) if, in view of the fact that the employers' side of the Local Authorites National Joint Council (Scottish Council) has expressed a desire to have an early recall of the employers' side of the National Joint Council with a view to achieving a settlement for APT and C staff that would give credibility to the comparability study, he will take steps to reconvene it; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what steps he is taking to assist in reconvening the National Joint Council for local authority staff in an effort to reopen discussions on the APT and C staff comparability award.

The interpretation of the joint comparability study is a matter for the National Joint Council for Local Authorities, under whose auspices the study was carried out. Any resumption of negotiations is a matter for the local government employers and the unions concerned and I understand a meeting of the National Joint Council has been arranged for 28 March 1980.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimated percentage of the pay award for local authority APT and C staff was used in the calculation for rate support grant in the forthcoming financial year.

The cash limit on rate support grant for 1980–81 is a total figure compatible with year on year new pay and price changes affecting local authorities of 13 per cent., plus an additional allowance for the effects of outstanding comparability awards. It cannot be directly related to individual pay settlements, which are matters for the parties concerned.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will meet Mr. Charles Gallacher, Scottish officer of the National and Local Government Officers Association, to discuss the present industrial action of local government officers.

This would not be appropriate as industrial action by local government officers is, primarily, a matter for their employers.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has assessed the impact of the National and Local Government Officers Association's decision to cease all work relating to the issuing of rate demands by the local authorities; and if he will make a statement.

It is for each local authority to decide how to respond to the effect of industrial action on the preparation and issue of rate demand notes. It would therefore be inappropriate for me to make further comment at present.