Construction workers secure 6.2% pay increase

Construction workers operating under the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement are set for a boost in pay and allowances next month after a new two year pay deal worth 6.2% was agreed.

The CIJC is the largest agreement in the construction industry and principally covers workers operating in civil engineering and the so-called biblical trades (carpenters, bricklayers and painters).

Signed by workers’ union Unite and the GMB, the agreement will see pay rates increase by an inflation beating 3.2% from June 25. The pay increase will mean that the minimum rate for craft workers (including carpenters, bricklayers and painters) is £12.31 an hour, with the general operative (labourer) minimum rate increasing to £9.26 an hour. Pay rates will increase by a further 2.9% from June 24 2019.

The travel allowance will increase in line with the percentage rise in pay rates, the (tax free) fare allowance will increase in line with inflation however lodging allowances will increase by 7.8% to £40 a night in 2018 and will then increase by inflation in 2019, which is in line with other construction agreements.

Industry sick pay is to be increased and extended. It will rise to £130 per week (paid in addition to statutory sick pay) an increase of 6.1% and it will now be paid for 13 weeks, an increase on the 10 weeks it is currently paid for.

The industry death benefit, paid via the B&CE, will increase from £32,000 to £40,000. If a worker is killed at work or travelling to and from work their family receives double that amount.

There has also been a significant increase of 6.5% in the payment for first year apprentices who will receive £5.50 an hour, it is hoped that the increased rate will attract a greater number of new entrants into the industry.

Unite national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, said: “This deal is a strong step in the right direction and will give construction workers a well-deserved pay increase.

“The increases in allowances and other benefits, underline the value of working under an industrial agreement and being part of collective bargaining arrangements.

“Over the next two years we will be working to further strengthen the agreement and ensure that it is brought into line with other agreements in all matters and is seen as relevant on major construction sites.

“Construction workers need to remain vigilant that employers actually pay the agreed pay rates. Too often in construction employers try to boost their profits by failing to pay agreed increases.”

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “Given the current climate in the wider construction industry and overall economic climate, this deal is both a recognition of a hard-working, highly-skilled workforce and a demonstration of real commitment to maintaining meaningful joint national industrial agreement.

“As further significant construction projects emerge over the next few years, this deal offers genuine hope of retaining the much needed skills for the industry, as well as attracting new apprentices, with the percentage uplift for apprentice rates further reinforcing the importance of this latter point.”

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