£16bn infrastructure scheme could use lucrative pay deal pioneered at Heathrow Terminal 5

Officials on the £16bn Crossrail project are in talks to use the Heathrow Terminal 5 employment deal, under which electricians and steel workers earned salaries of more than £55,000 a year.

The major projects agreement (MPA) was used by 33 suppliers and governed 2,200 workers on the T5 development. This offered a lucrative pay deal in return for meeting stringent performance targets.

A spokesperson for Crossrail confirmed that the organisation was “looking into using the MPA”, but said it was early days and discussions were continuing.

The MPA was negotiated by union Amicus and launched in December 2003 to give electricians more money in return for improved productivity and fewer industrial disputes.

The framework was hailed as a success by the industry after an independent report by consultant Baker Mallett found that 88% of those involved in T5 described it as beneficial. However, it has not been used on any other project, and has been rejected by the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Meanwhile, Crossrail announced this week that consultant engineer Scott Wilson had been appointed by Network Rail to provide designs for the above ground sections of the project. The value of the contract is expected to be up to £9.8m and design work will begin immediately.

Tenders for a programme partner for the scheme are expected to be returned by 31 October; four firms have been shortlisted. The tender for the project delivery partner is due on 5 December.

The organisation is also searching for a chief executive.