Unions seeking 4% annual pay rise over three years
July 28th: Unite, which represents workers throughout the construction sector, today (Wednesday) said that the amended Sectoral Employment Order being sought by unions will ensure stability as the sector recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, while also providing employers with a level playing field. Unite is a member of the ICTU’s Construction Industry Committee which has made a submission to the Labour Court seeking an amended SEO.
Commenting, Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:
“All the indications are that the construction sector is rebounding strongly as we emerge from the pandemic. The amended SEO being sought by unions will not only provide stability but will also make it more difficult for rogue operators to undercut good employers.
“As well as seeking a 4% annual increase in basic pay over the next three years, starting this October, unions are seeking to rectify anomalies which can be exploited by bad employers.
“At a time when extreme weather events are likely to become more common, a small minority of employers have been sending workers home without pay when weather conditions make work impossible. In light of the recent legislative requirement that employers specify a worker’s daily and weekly hours, unions are seeking an amendment to the SEO providing a minimum of 39 guaranteed hours weekly.
“Sectoral orders provide an opportunity to codify terms and conditions which have become accepted practice among good employers, again helping to prevent any attempt to undercut them. In this regard, unions are asking the Labour Court to enshrine travel time pay for workers operating away from their base, as well as the premium payment for crane operators in recognition of their specialist work, in the amended SEO.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, the amended SEO sought by unions will help build a sustainable construction sector offering good jobs for workers and a stable environment for employers”, Tom Fitzgerald concluded.