One year after the Major Projects Agreement was signed, only BAA has implemented it – with extensive changes.

A pay framework for M&E operatives that was agreed more than a year ago, and which took several years to negotiate, has been introduced on just one major project.

Under the deal, known as the Major Projects Agreement, M&E workers on large projects inside the M25 would receive an additional £3 an hour and those outside the M25 an additional £2.20 an hour.

Last July, unions, employers and clients agreed to set up an MPA projects agreement forum to implement the pay deal. The quid pro quo was that industrial relations would improve.

A forum source said that so far only BAA had signed up to the agreement, which had been implemented at the Heathrow Terminal 5. However, instead of using the main MPA deal, the airport operator negotiated its own pay clauses, the details of which have not been disclosed.

The source added that talks were taking place with Arsenal Football Club over implementing the deal at its Ashburton Grove stadium project in north London.

The forum is also lobbying the government over using the pay framework on PFI schemes.

Steve Brawley, the MPA forum secretary, said that there was no target number of projects to be signed up to the agreement.

BBA signed up at T5 only after lots of tweaks to the agreement.

A union source

“BAA signed up at T5 only after lots of tweaks to the agreement”

Brawley said: “We are in discussions with clients across the UK and each individual project will have to be assessed by its own merits and suitability for the deal.”

One union source said: “BAA signed up at T5 only after lots of changes and tweaks. I can’t see any future clients signing up to the additional costs.”

Under the deal, electricians could earn in excess of £50,000 a year and receive travel pay.

One M&E contractor said it was up to the client on individual projects to accept the terms and conditions of the agreement. He said: “Ultimately, the contractors pass the costs on to the client and that is why they are consulted in the MPA forum. It really is up to them whether they want to pay the extra cash to have stable industrial relations on their sites.”