Union threatens breakaway national wage agreement.
UCATT delegates at their National Delegate Conference have unanimously passed a motion calling for the radical overhaul of the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement, the largest agreement in the construction industry agreement.
The decision came on the same day that it emerged that the current CIJC pay talks have stalled. The employers latest multi-year offer was considered to include an insignificant increase in the second year. UCATT and the other construction unions are now seeking fresh talks ahead of next month’s pay date.
The motion that was passed stated: “Conference believes it is the fundamental right of all construction workers to receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and that this should reflect their skills’ efforts and working conditions.
“Our members are treated as second class citizens compared to those working under other agreements. Examples of this are less subsistence allowance, less sick pay, less travelling allowance and less holiday entitlement.”
Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary, said: “UCATT are now crystal clear that they will not accept the worst pay and conditions of any industrial agreement in the construction industry. Those principles apply to the current negotiations and future negotiations.”
The far reaching motion also stats that if CIJC employers are unwilling to significantly improve the agreement and ensure that it extends to construction supply chains, the union will seek to create a new national agreement with major employers.
The motion, said: “Conference instructs the Executive Council to seek talks with representatives of major contractors involved in the private sector building and civil engineering industry. The purpose of such talks being to establish a new agreement, covering building and civil engineering workers on private sector construction sites. An agreement must establish of pay compatible to other agreements currently operating on such sites.”
Mr Rye, added: “If the CIJC employers are unable or unwilling to radically overhaul the agreement then we will begin the process of establishing an agreement which represents the needs of construction workers.”
The most recent CIJC pay offer was 2.5% in June 2016, 2.75% in June 2017 and an additional day’s holiday from January 2018.