A DEAL which may end the gritting dispute will be put on the table tomorrow.
Council gritters and their union Unison met council chiefs on Tuesday to negotiate a new pay scheme for 50 council road workers.
A possible deal has been thrashed out, but details of it remain under wraps until it is put to the gritting teams themselves tomorrow lunchtime.
The workers, who run the operation from bases at Honley and Batley, were set to go on call on October 30 and be ready for action if the weather turns bad.
But the gritters refused to make themselves available after Kirklees Council announced a change in pay.
The council’s new standby policy means that drivers would only be paid from the minute they begin gritting.
They would not be paid for preparing the wagons or driving to remote gritting locations. Previously workers could volunteer to go on standby and would then be paid from the moment they were called into action.
Now a new deal is set to be put before the workers at 11am tomorrow.
If the council workers are satisfied with the offer they will go ‘on duty’ from 12.30pm.
If the offer is declined workers, Unison and Kirklees directors of personnel and highways will have to go back into negotiations, says Kirklees Unison head Paul Holmes.
He added: “This is an unfortunate situation. Obviously gritting is a task our members take seriously. It is a task that our members undertake in the most arduous of conditions.
“The council can’t expect them to work for less money than previous years and on worse conditions than other council staff.”
“This is another equal pay issue – our members who grit want equal treatment with all other council out-of-hours workers and Unison intend to ensure they get it.”
Kirklees Conservative leader Jim Dodds added: “It is not a surprise that there have been no volunteers to undertake this work.
“Any normal person would feel aggrieved at receiving reduced pay for doing a vital job in the early hours of the morning, and I would urge the council leadership to look for an acceptable compromise.”