FMB & Unite agree 1.5% pay rise for construction workers


The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) has agreed to a 1.5% pay rise for construction workers which will come into effect in June 2021

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and Unite the union has successfully negotiated a 1.5% pay rise for construction workers.

The BATJIC has agreed on a one-year deal which will into come into effect in June 2021.

The BATJIC has agreed:

  • A one-year deal involving a 1.5% pay rise over the next year
  • The adult general operative rate increases to £10.22 per hour
  • The NVQ3 advanced craft rate increases to £13.37 per hour.

‘Sending a positive message to tradespeople’

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “2020 was an unprecedented and challenging year for small to medium-sized building firms.

“This agreement seeks to balance the uncertainty that they continue to face with the need to reward the construction workforce who have continued to go to work during the pandemic.

“I hope this pay increase sends a positive message to tradespeople, and potential new entrants, that construction is a sustainable and rewarding industry to work in.”

Jerry Swain, national officer for construction at Unite the union, added: “Unite understands these are uncertain times we are currently living through and also recognises that unlike other construction agreements, last year there was an increase in the BATJIC pay rates.

“While of course Unite would have liked to have seen a larger increase, we are pleased to be able to say; that during this pandemic we have maintained the spending power of our member’s pay under this agreement.

“This is important if we are to attract and retain workers to our industry at a time when the government is looking to construction to build back better and provide much-needed jobs.”


  1. Great for construction workers to receive a pay rise. However, the workers are still extremely low paid. £10.22 per hour for a general operative is just a little more than if they were stacking shelves in a supermarket. Supermarket operatives do not work in a dangerous environment, in dirt and dust in all types of weather and do not have to travel large distances to get to work.

    £13.37 per hour for NVQ 3 operatives is hardly good pay – less than £28,000 a year (40 hrs per week). It is about time the industry acknowledged that it is a low paying industry for the actual workers on the sites. Having workers working 60 hr weeks so that they can have reasonable pay is not what most people want anymore, especially younger workers who want a good family life. Long hours will not attract the young into construction.

    Better pay and shorter hours will help the industry immensely. Furthermore, the insulting low pay of apprentices is a disgrace. If the industry wants to attract the young into the industry and retain them they should treat them as operatives of the future not as cheap labour. Pay them for the skills they will eventually have. Other industries do this – why can’t construction??


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