A Council workers’ union has voiced “disappointment” after discussions over controversial plans to scrap bonus payments for hundreds of workers ended in a stalemate last night.

In a meeting with officers from Bradford Council which lasted more than three hours the Council refused to withdraw legal notices served to more than 600 of its employees proposing changes to their pay.

That is despite public sector workers’ union Unite urging the Council to scrap the proposed changes to workers’ contracts and enter into negotiation with the unions.

Bosses from Unite fear the Council’s refusal to negotiate may leave some of its lowest-paid employees working for longer hours just to maintain their salaries or face pay cuts of more than £5,000 in their annual pay packets.

Ray Jones, who represented Unite at yesterday’s meeting, said the Council had previously made promises to evaluate the workers’ jobs rather than serve the notices, made under equal pay legislation.

However, following the discussions, he claims the Council had now reneged on its earlier promises.

Mr Jones said: “I am disappointed because it looks like the Council are not going to withdraw the notices.

“The fact is that, if we are going to try to resolve the matter, it does not help them threatening us. The way to discuss is with openness and transparency and meaningful negotiation but they are just holding a gun to our heads. I’m quite appalled, to be honest.”

Mr Jones also said he was concerned that no senior Bradford councillors were present at yesterday’s crunch meeting to discuss the changes affecting workers such as refuse collectors, street sweepers, gardeners and market attendants.

He said: “They have got to understand that our members could face a £5,000 pay cut. They could end up losing their homes. It is not acceptable for a responsible employer to be doing that.”

However, Mr Jones said it was “too early” to talk about strike action, with 11 days still to run until workers’ contracts are terminated and the new terms are imposed.

“I’m not willing to resort to the council’s dirty tactics of threatening people,” he said.

Becky Hellard, strategic director corporate services, said: “The Council has been working with the trade unions in recent months and talks have continued. Further talks are scheduled for the next week and beyond.”