FOUNDATIONS LAID FOR BETTER PAY

PUBLISHED: 13:17 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 06 May 2010

BUILDING workers have begun their battle for better pay, with union leaders hoping to negotiate hourly rates of £15, a new report has revealed. About 600,000 employees will be covered by the Ucatt talks, which aim to cement a substantial rise in wages,

BUILDING workers have begun their battle for better pay, with union leaders hoping to negotiate hourly rates of £15, a new report has revealed.

About 600,000 employees will be covered by the Ucatt talks, which aim to cement a "substantial" rise in wages, a cut in the working week to 37 hours and an extra two days holiday.

Also to be discussed is a new apprentice structure and a major review of the industry's pension scheme.

Currently, the average hourly pay for building workers stands at just £9, but the union said a rise to £15 was reasonable.

General secretary Alan Ritchie said: "We will be looking for significant improvements in the agreement.

"Pay rates should reflect the going rate and the apprentice structure should offer quality training, and building workers should have security when they retire.

He added: "The industry has benefited from stable growth for a decade but the old problems of skill shortages and casual working conditions are still with us.

"We think the current pension arrangements are unsustainable and do not think the apprentice structure does justice to the industry, which is why we want changes.

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