Building engineering services workers accept 7% pay rise

Plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers will receive a 7% uplift in their pay in October thanks to an agreement between Unite union and contractors.

The rise forms part of a two-year agreement that will see pay rise a further 3% in October 2024 and includes some additional enhancements to pension provisions.

The Building Engineering Services Association negotiated the new rates for hourly paid operatives on behalf of the industry’s employers with Unite.

An earlier offer was rejected by the union in June, but the employers returned with improved terms following further consultation with BESA members, which has now been accepted.

A 7% increase in hourly grade rates includes a corresponding increase in Premium Rate 1, Premium Rate 2, daily travelling allowances and responsibility allowances.

Employer and employee pension contributions will also rise by 1% of basic pay from October 2024.

This additional improvement in the pension provisions under the National Agreement is not voluntary and the employer contribution is dependent on an employee contribution, which takes total contributions to 6% and 5% respectively.

“This round of wage negotiations has been extremely challenging but, with support from BESA’s Employment Policy Committee and the membership, I believe the parties have achieved the right deal for employers and employees,” said BESA’s head of employment affairs Paula Samuels.

“Rising costs and pressures on profit margins mean conditions are difficult for everyone in the sector, but fortunately the positive relationship that exists between union representatives and the Association allows us to negotiate constructively and in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation leading to this positive outcome.”


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