Friday, April 17, 2009

Pay freeze for small builders

Thousands of construction workers at small and medium sized firms will not get a pay rise this year.

Negotiations under the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) for 2009/10 have resulted in no increase to the pay, allowances, and conditions agreement which expires in June.

Rates introduced in June 2008 will remain in place for a further year. 

Speaking for the employers’ side, Richard Diment, Director-General of the FMB said: "The FMB regrets that these negotiations have been concluded without being able to agree some form of increase. However, it has become clear that conditions are not going to improve sufficiently for any form of increase to be possible for this year, and there is clearly a need to provide certainty on wages for firms pricing for what little work there is out there.


Pay freeze for small builders


"The reality of the situation is that the trading environment for FMB members is so dire, that we are simply not in any position to assist hard pressed workers with any aspect of their claim. We did explore a number of options with our partners at Unite, but the economy has fallen so far and so fast, that we were rapidly pushed past the point where we could consider even modest improvements.

"The bottom line is that firms are desperately trying to hang on to their workers and it would be irresponsible of us to make it more difficult for them do so by raising wages at this time of massive economic uncertainty and rapid growth in informal economy competition."

Commenting for the workers side, Bob Blackman, National Secretary for Construction at Unite, said: "I am extremely disappointed that no increases have been possible for this year. BATJIC has a long record of delivering real improvements in pay and conditions for construction workers and it is a real shame that we have not been able to deliver improvements for our members this year.  We are hoping that conditions improve sufficiently for agreement to be reached next year for the 2010/11 pay round"

The current basic hourly rates (based on a 39 hour week) are:

S/NVQ3 Qualified Operative  ВЈ10.41 
S/NVQ2 Qualified Operative  ВЈ8.95 
Adult General Operative         ВЈ7.73 


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