M&E giants promise to maintain pay rates

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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The eight breakaway M&E giants stepped-up their charm offensive today over a new pay and conditions deal for the industry backed up by the HVCA trade body.

The eight are writing to 6,000 workers vowing that electricians will continue to be directly employed and no-one will suffer a drop in their terms and conditions.

The major M&E firms – N G Bailey, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, T Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, MJN Colston, Shepherd Engineering Services and SPIE Matthew Hall – will pull out of the industry JIB agreement in March.

From March, their employees will work under the new Building Engineering Services National Agreement (BESNA).

The agreement has been developed in partnership with the HVCA and its planned introduction has sparked a wave of protest among rank-and-file site workers.

Backers of BESNA have vowed that:

–       operatives will continue to be directly employed;

–       rates of pay will be standardised across the workforce;

–       no redundancies are planned redundancies as a direct result of the introduction of the agreement;

–       many operatives will benefit from improvements in their existing terms and conditions of employment;

–       all pensions and welfare benefits will be maintained.

HVCA chief executive Blane Judd said, “The BESNA is fully in line with the current and future needs of the construction industry and its clients.

“There have been changes in aspects as diverse as working practices, technology and materials prices over the past few years, all of which
the building engineering services sector has succeeded in taking on board.

“The BESNA provides an integrated approach to the employment of operatives in the sector, and offers significant benefits not only for employers and employees, but also – crucially – for the client.”

He confirmed that all operatives currently employed by the eight companies would be transferred to the new framework without any downgrading or erosion of their terms and conditions.

Unite has chosen not to participate in negotiations so far but Judd hopes to get them round the table soon.

He said: “HVCA believes that Unite’s active participation would be beneficial in securing and implementing a lasting and workable arrangement.”

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