The industrial relations deal confirms an advanced craft rate with milestone bonus amounting to £20 an hour from 2016 when M&E work gets underway.
It is close to £3 an hour above the projected engineering construction project rates for the same time.
EDF has committed its contractors to train 500 apprentices over the six-year project, amounting to about 1 in 8 of the projected M&E workforce over the project’s programme.
The deal reflects concern that Hinkley’s ‘gold standard’ pay rates will suck in skilled labour causing shortages of skilled workers at other projects around the country.
Hinkley Point C Construction Director Nigel Cann said: “This upfront collaboration gives us confidence that once we start construction, we will be able to continue without stopping.
“The collective agreements for the Hinkley Point C project like this one will also help make possible one of our fundamental objectives – to bring in new entrants to the construction workforce from the local community.
“It will also make a significant contribution to replenishing and developing the UK industrial skills base.”
The site specific standalone agreement with construction unions GMB and Unite also outlaws the use of agency workers, stipulating PAYE-only labour.
This latest milestone follows the signing of similar agreements with unions in June for civils workers, which set a basic £13 an hour rate, and established an overarching framework for industrial relations for the project.
Around 25,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction, including around 5,000 people working on-site at the peak of construction.
Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer said: “This ‘Best in Class’ agreement has now been “unanimously” endorsed by construction shop stewards.
“These agreements are ground breaking not only in the increased levels of pay terms and conditions compared to other agreements in the UK, but they are bound together by a ‘Common Framework/Social covenant’ agreement, which is good solid industrial relations foundation.”
Unite national officer Kevin Coyne said: “This is a cutting-edge agreement for a cutting-edge new nuclear project at Hinkley Point.
“It has taken many months to get the detail right but through hard work and cooperation the unions and employers have an agreement which is fit for a 21st century development to power Britain’s homes and businesses.”