Following a sham "consultation" exercise UNISON negotiators, backed by Unite and the GMB, have called in government arbitrators ACAS to make a binding agreement which members will be unable to vote on.
Following one of the UK's biggest strikes in years, when half a million council workers walked out for two days against a sub inflationary 2.45% pay offer, unions have blocked further action.
Blaming a poor vote for further action in a recent consultation exercise, which UNISON halfheartedly undertook while many workers were on summer holidays, officials decided there would be no further strikes, but instead to call in ACAS and hope for the best.
Any decision made by ACAS is binding on both parties - unions and employer - regardless of the wishes of the unions' members.
One local government worker and UNISON member told us:
"This latest blow to workers follows a series of attempts to sabotage the dispute by union officials. UNISON's leadership, while talking militant in public, sent out initial consultation documents on the pay offer giving the employers arguments.
"When surprised by a significant vote in favour of strike action, they responded with almost no preparation for the national strike, very few and very poor publicity materials, and no future dates for strike action for workers to prepare for or to be used as leverage against the employers.
"Instead, following the first strike workers were told to go back to work and wait for the professional negotiators, while their morale ebbed."
The demobilisation of local government workers could hardly come at a worse time for other public sector workers opposing their pay cuts.
Despite UNISON claiming to be leading the fight for co-ordinated action across the sector, it has now called off further action before a proposed national cross-union demonstration, and before teachers and civil servants are due to begin new waves of strikes.