The claim under the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement will set minimum wages for more than 500,000 workers primarily in civil engineering and the ‘biblical’ trades.
The unions want to see a uniform pay increase which will see all workers covered by the agreement, from craft workers to labourers, see their pay rise by the same percentage.
The pay claim has been submitted this week to the employers’ side of the CIJC.
Pay negotiations will be held throughout the spring with new rates due to come in force at the end of June.
Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “For this industry to succeed and attract new entrants then pay rates must reflect workers’ skills and living costs.
“Unless radical changes are made to the CIJC agreement it will become increasingly irrelevant in the industry. The first step is to agree meaningful pay rates.
“The employers’ side must ensure that our agreement sets the benchmark for pay and conditions in the whole of construction. A failure to grasp the nettle during this year’s pay talks will lead to questions being asked about the relevance of the CIJC.”