The architects of a pioneering pay deal for electricians at Heathrow Terminal 5 are negotiating to introduce the agreement on regeneration projects. This could lead to it being adopted outside the capital
The forum in charge of the Major Projects Agreement, which gives T5 electricians the chance to earn £55,000 a year, is in discussion with at least two developers that are considering adopting the scheme on regeneration projects. This would quell mounting criticism over the failure to extend the scheme beyond T5.
Steve Brawley, secretary of the MPA Forum, confirmed that it was in talks over introducing the scheme to some regeneration projects, although he would not name them.
He said: “We are talking to one or two schemes that are interested in using the MPA. Although regeneration is not the primary focus of the agreement, a large city development that has a single developer working on the scheme would potentially be an area for us.” Brawley added that although there would be differences between regeneration projects and single site schemes such as T5, the MPA would still be workable. He said: “There are differences – primarily that on T5 you have a fixed timescale for the project whereas this would be more fluid. But there is definitely potential for the agreement to work.”
Building also understands that the Treasury is conducting an audit to assess the applicability of the scheme to public sector projects, potentially including those for the Olympics.
We are talking to one or two schemes that are interested in using the MPA
Steve Brawley, secretary, MPA Forum
The news comes after an independent audit of the impact of the agreement at T5 by consultant Baker Mallett. It found 88% of those involved in T5 who were questioned found it beneficial. Brawley said after reviewing the findings the forum was making changes to some aspects of the agreement to maximise its potential.
He said: “The forum has already agreed minor changes to the agreement at T5 as a result of survey responses. This will see an extra stage inserted into grievance procedures that will provide the opportunity to address any complaints before they are referred to an MPA panel. The audit also raised the potential for wider, non site-specific changes to the MPA itself, and these will be discussed at a forum meeting next month.”
The Major Projects Agreement was launched in December 2003 by Amicus, the trade union, and M&E trade bodies to give electricians more money in return for improved productivity and fewer industrial disputes. The deal was designed for use on large sites, typically where the M&E component is worth more than £100m or employs more than 250 workers. It was originally believed it could be used on PFI hospital schemes but the failure to realise this ambition has led to doubts over its future.