Following protracted negotiations, an improved two-year pay deal has been secured by the construction unions UCATT, Unite and GMB, for workers covered by the Constriction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement.

Pay rates will increase by 2.5 per cent from 25 July, 2016, and then by a further 2.75 per cent in June 2017. Industry sick pay and subsistence allowance will also increase at least in line with the basic pay rate increases.

Workers will receive an extra day’s holiday from 1 January, 2017, which is worth an additional 0.4 per cent. The taking of holidays has also been made more flexible.

Travel allowances have been reconfigured and will now be calculated in miles, rather than kilometres. A number of skilled operative rates including (slinger/signaller, banksman, and fork lift truck and telehandler drivers) have received pay increases above the basic award.

Unite national officer for construction John Allott said: “While we welcome this improved pay deal, it must act as a firm foundation for moving the agreement forward. The employers need to recognise that the deal is not an end in itself, but the beginning of the journey to address many of the problems that currently face our members in construction.

"The CIJC agreement urgently needs to be revamped for the modern workplace - and the unions want to work constructively with employers to achieve this goal."

Brian Rye, acting general secretary of UCATT, said: “This deal ensures that workers will enjoy above inflation increase for the next two years. However employers need to understand that the CIJC agreement does not meet the needs of the workforce and unless it is radically reformed it will soon cease to be relevant to the industry.”

Phil Whitehurst, GMB national officer for construction, added: "GMB will consult its members with a firm recommendation of acceptance, that said the CIJC working rule agreement is still by no means the agreement of choice. All three unions have tabled warnings to the employers that the agreement needs a thorough overall to bring it into the 21st century or it will wither at the vine and become unfit for purpose in a future innovative construction industry."