M&E giants change pay deal after talks with workers

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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Details of a controversial pay and conditions deal being introduced by seven leading M&E contractors have been changed following consultations with the workforce.

The contractors have caused controversy in the M&E sector with plans to withdraw from the long-standing JIB agreement and replace it with the new proposed building engineering services agreement (BESNA).

The move has sparked a furious wave of site protests by rank-and-file electricians and a strike ballot by the Unite union at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services.

The BESNA terms have now been tweaked following feedback from workers at the firms who are all members of the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association.

    BESNA changes

  • Clarification that wages will be paid weekly
  • The basic working week of 37½ hours will normally be spread equally between Monday and Friday, unless site rules dictate otherwise, as is sometimes the case
  • Saturday working will be paid at time-and-a-half and at double time after the first six hours
  • Sunday working will be paid at double time
  • There will be no provision for lay-off or short-term working
  • Travelling time and travel allowance payments will replicate those in the Electrical JIB working rules

Blane Judd, the HVCA’s chief executive officer, said: “The plumbers, electricians and mechanical operatives have spoken directly to their employers and the firms have listened intently and acted in a swift and constructive manner.

“All seven firms will now communicate extensively with their workforces to highlight the new changes of the proposed agreement in the next two weeks.

“Workers will be asked to sign the new BESNA by December 7 and I’m very confident that the majority will do so given the many positives the agreement has to offer.”

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