HVCA says firms taking ‘a period of time to recoup’ after BESNA deal was scrapped

The contractors behind the abandoned BESNA wage agreement have contacted union Unite to set up reconciliation talks.

The M&E firms - which include Balfour Beatty Engineering Services and NG Bailey - intend to revert to the old Joint Industry Board (JIB) wage agreement while the talks take place.

The Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association, which is acting on behalf of the seven M&E firms, said the firms were taking “a period of time to recoup”.

Blane Judd, chief executive of the HVCA, said he was disappointed the BESNA agreement had collapsed but claimed the initiative had “woken people up” to the need for reform.

The BESNA proposals sparked over five months of protests, including a London rally, a sit-in of a contractor’s headquarters and clashes with police.

Bernard McAulay, national officer for construction at Unite, said: “We want the firms back in the JIB. We want to talk around the table about where it can be improved.”