SME employers agree deal to give tens of thousands of workers 5% pay rise over two years

Union Unite and the Federation of Master Builders have agreed a 5% pay rise over two years for tens of thousands of construction workers.

The announcement follows the successful conclusion of negotiations between the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), on behalf of SME construction employers, and Unite, on behalf of workers.

Under the terms of the deal, workers will receive a 2.5% pay rise this year and a further 2.5% increase in 2017.

The rise will be across the board, with the exception of hourly rates for lower paid general operatives, who will receive a 4% pay rise this year followed by 2.5% next year.

In order to provide employees with a greater degree of security, the agreement includes a commitment that the 2017 rise will be inflation-proofed.

If inflation in early 2017 is higher than 2.5%, then the 2017 pay rise will match it up to a limit of 3%.

The agreement, administered by the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council, will take effect on the 27 June.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “This is a good deal which provides certainty and reassurance to employers and employees alike.

“It strikes the right balance between on the one hand recognising the importance of boosting pay in line with solid growth and positive future expectations, and on the other hand accepting that margins continue to be tight and the economic outlook continues to be clouded by a number of uncertainties.”

John Allott, Unite’s national construction officer, said: “The higher increase to the lowest paid was needed, as many operatives’ living standards took a knock during the economic downturn.

“The inflation-proofing of the second year’s rise provides some further reassurance that living standards will receive protection against a jump in inflation.”