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200,000 workers agree to 10 per cent pay rise

MORE than 200,000 operatives working for Britain's small and medium-sized builders have accepted a 10 per cent pay rise.

The deal was thrashed out between transport union TGWU and the Federation of Master Builders under the umbrella of the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council.

The new rates start in June and will see craftworkers'hourly pay jump to £9.25 from £8.38, S/NVQ2 qualified operatives will get £7.95 instead of £7.22 and general operatives £6.80 from £6.42.

The rise represents a 10 per cent hike for skilled workers and a 6 per cent increase for labourers.The deal also includes improved travelling allowances and increases in pensions and sickness benefits.

Union joint secretary Bob Blackman said: 'I am pleased that we have been able to reach a quick agreement. In particular, as pay for a skilled craftworker is now over £360 per week, this sends out the clear signal that S/NVQ achievement will be rewarded.'

Employers joint secretary Ian Davis said: 'We are pleased to retain BATJIC's position as the leader in the development of terms and conditions in the construction industry.

'This settlement has been structured to reward training and the achievement of vital construction skills.

'We hope that this will create a significant incentive for operatives to gain the qualifications that the industry so desperately needs.'