Construction unions agree deal on behalf of 500,000 workers

Construction unions Ucatt, Unite and the GMB have agreed an improved pay offer on behalf of 500,000 workers covered by the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC).

The pay rise was finalised at 1.5%, up from the 1.25% increase rejected last week. It is the first pay increase agreed for three years.

The increase will come into effect from 5 September and will cover all pay grades.

The unions also won agreement that the fare and subsistence allowances will increase by 5.3% and will be payable from 27 June.

Employers also agreed to begin talks in early 2012 on addressing the issue of low basic rates of pay for construction workers.

George Guy, acting general secretary of construction union Ucatt, who led the negotiations, said: “This is an improved offer and ends the pay freeze for construction workers. It has been made clear to employers that future increases must properly reflect rising costs and the difficult, demanding, and skilled work undertaken by construction workers.”

John Allott, national officer for construction of Unite, said: “This pay deal is a small first step in ending low pay for hard working construction workers. The employers side must now realise that in the future pay rises must be of a significant level to properly reflect the demanding work performed by construction workers.”

Phil Davies, national secretary for construction of the GMB, said; “This offer was the best that can be achieved under the current economic conditions. The union side is committed to significantly improving the agreement over the coming years.”