A DEAL over staff pay and conditions is “a real possibility” in the next few weeks, say council bosses.

They met with UNISON officials on October 18 to hear views on an offer made by Shropshire Council and seeking an agreement on changes to terms for all workers.

Following last month’s strike action a pay cut of 2.7 per cent, rather than the planned 5.4 per cent, was ushered in on October 1.

The new offer would drop the pay cut next year to 1.9 per cent.

Other offers included two days extra paid leave on December 29 and 30, a review of sickness pay and an increase in reimbursement for business travel.

Similar meetings have taken place with GMB and UNITE trade unions.

Council leader Keith Barrow, pictured right, said: “I made a promise to staff that we would continue to work hard to try to reduce the effects of the pay reduction next year.

“I am pleased we have managed to bring an improved offer to the table, in response to what staff are saying they want to see.

“There is strong agreement between us and the trade unions on the desire to work through these matters as quickly as possible.

“We know there are major changes still facing the council over the next few years and we are eager to tackle these together, positively, with no baggage from the past.”

Alan James, branch secretary for Shropshire UNISON, said: “I feel we are as close to having the best deal that we can get at this time.

“We have a firm and genuine commitment from the council about how we might go on to improve on that offer for next year.”