KIRKLEES Council is one of many calling for new pay talks for its workers.

The authority has signed up to a letter asking the Local Government Association to restart pay negotiations for 1.5m council workers.

The LGA has so far refused to hold any negotiating meetings or make a pay offer in 2010.

Now Labour council leaders across the country – including Clr Mehboob Khan, of Kirklees – have argued that the refusal is damaging the relationship with their workforces and urging that talks are started.

The call has been welcomed by members of the GMB, which represents many thousands of council workers.

Brian Strutton, general secretary, said: “1.5m council workers have been denied the chance to argue their case for a pay rise by the refusal of the Tories in charge of the LGA to even meet with the unions.

“All those people and their families will be delighted to have the support first of the national labour group and now from these Labour council leaders all over the country.

“I hope the LGA will respond as any reasonable and sensible employer should by authorising pay negotiations for council staff for 2010.”