The prospect of further industrial action over pay by youth and community workers has receded following intervention by Acas mediators.
An end may now be in sight to one of the longest-running pay disputes after employers' and staff representatives met in London.
Staff on the joint negotiating committee had accused employers of reneging on a deal by seeking to delay implementation of new pay scales for up to 18 months.
An earlier stalemate led to the first-ever national strike by the Community and Youth Workers Union. Expectations that new pay scales would be back-dated to September 2003 was a key factor in the CYWU ending the industrial action.
Employers offered a pay increase of 2.7 per cent from September 2003 and 3.3 per cent from six months after that.
CYWU had threatened a ballot for further action unless employers changed their minds.