Business Irish

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Construction bosses told to factor 30pc pay hike into tenders

Stock picture
Stock picture

Anne-Marie Walsh

House, hospital and major construction projects may soar in price as employers plan to factor a 30pc pay rise into tendering costs.

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has told its 1,600 members to take account of a claim by unions for wage hikes when bidding for new projects. In the message sent on Monday, the CIF said it wants a six-month 'lead-in' if the Labour Court rubber-stamps the pay demand.

It told members it advised the court the lead-in time is necessary to "provide an opportunity to price any new labour costs into tender prices for future projects".

The employer body claimed the total cost of the demand for wage and allowance increases is 30pc over three years and it rejected it "out of hand". The pay demand could get the court's backing, it said, and the terms would stay in place for a minimum of a year.

The message was sent as employers have clashed with construction unions over their bid to change the terms of a sectoral employment order that sets out pay, sick pay and pensions in the industry.

A Labour Court decision on whether to alter the existing order is expected shortly.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions lodged a claim for a 12pc hike in basic pay as well as other improvements in terms and conditions on behalf of the group of unions, but construction employers are opposing the claim.

Their federation said as well as a demand for a 4pc increase in hourly rates each year for the next three years, a travel allowance of one hour per worker per day is worth 12.8pc.

In addition, it said pension contributions would rise in line with hourly rates and the basic working week would fall to 39 hours, from 41 hours at present, meaning employers having to pay more overtime.

"The Labour Court was also advised that a lead-in time of six months is required before any new sectoral employment order becomes effective," it said.

"A lead-in time of six months will provide an opportunity to price any new labour costs into tender prices for future projects."

It said that the court will consider the positions that had been put forward at a hearing last month.

Siptu has said the 12pc pay claim is in line with other profitable sectors.

Irish Independent

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