The Building Engineering Services Association (the BESA) has agreed a 2% pay rise for operatives in the sector from October, increasing to 2.5% from October 2017, the organisation announced today.
The BESA negotiated the pay rise with the Unite union and the two groups plan to meet later in 2016 to negotiate pay levels covering up to September 2020.
Unite originally asked for a four-year agreement from October this year which included “significant” wage and benefit increases. But, the BESA negotiated a two-stage increase and 'a stepped increase' which, they argued, was more suitable to the current economic state.
Also agreed was pro rated increase in weekly sickness and accident benefits, as well as holiday pay. Operatives in the building services sector also now gain an extra day's holiday from February 2020, which means they will have 24 days of annual leave.
“We enjoyed our usual robust but constructive negotiations with Unite this year,” said “Needless to say, the union argued hard for a considerably higher hourly rate, but accepted that the compromise reached was fair and in the long-term interests of both employers and operatives.
“As we enter a period of economic uncertainty following the EU referendum, it is important that businesses can plan for the future safe in the knowledge that labour costs will be maintained at a sustainable level, while also providing operatives with a fair return for the vital skills they provide to the industry and its clients.”