The Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire is in talks over using the Heathrow Terminal 5 agreement on a £1bn scheme.
Building understands that it is in negotiations over adopting the Major Projects Agreement, which governs M&E pay rates and conditions on T5, on its government-funded overhaul. Under this deal electricians earn upwards of £55,000 a year. If it went ahead it would be the first time the deal had been adopted outside T5 and would be a boost to the chances of it being employed as a standard Olympics contract.
A source said: “The discussions are confidential, but they are going ahead. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) is looking at adopting the MPA on the modernisation of both the Aldermaston and the [nearby] Burghfield sites.”
The deal gives electricians higher wages in return for greater productivity and fewer industrial disputes. Its employment outside T5 would give it extra credibility. In the past, doubts have been raised about its applicability to other projects because it has not been taken up elsewhere.
Officials from the MPA Forum, which runs the agreement, met David Higgins, Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive, last month to discuss the potential for the deal. Higgins has frequently stated that he wants “T5-style” conditions on Olympics schemes.
Aldermaston is looking at adopting the T5 MPA deal on the modernisation
Source close to the project
Building understands that representatives from the forum are due to meet Higgins again and are expecting the ODA to launch a thorough investigation into the scheme’s suitability.
The news emerged in the same week that the ODA launched its procurement strategy for venues and infrastructure for the 2012 Games in London.
The ODA said in a 30-page document that irrespective of what risks are transferred, the ODA will be accountable. It also said that “each selection process will include a robust financial appraisal of candidates to determine their economic standing and financial regularity”.
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