Constructive discussions between employers at Hinkley Point C and Unite have resulted in a temporary agreement over the payment of bonuses during the construction of the power station.
All parties have agreed to take part in a collective differences panel that will seek to identify an agreeable long-term settlement of the bonus issue.
As part of the agreement, interim bonus payments will apply until the end of August 2017 and will be linked to safe and collaborative working on site. The total bonus to be paid on this basis is as follows: working supervisor and craft grades £4 an hour, skilled worker grades £3 per hour and general workers £2 an hour.
The interim payments were agreed by representatives of EDF Energy (the client), BYLOR (the Tier 1 contractor comprising Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues TP), the Kier-Bam joint venture – who are undertaking the enabling works – and Unite.
As part of the agreement, the previously approved Civil Engineering Sector Agreement (CESA) for the project, which governs pay and conditions, will be fully implemented with effect from June 1 2017, including the interim bonus arrangements.
“We are proud about the ‘best in class’ nature of the overall package for the Hinkley Point C civil workforce,” said Nigel Cann, EDF Energy’s Programme and Construction Delivery Director for Hinkley Point C.
“We have created great facilities, an opportunity to develop and a very competitive reward structure,” he added.
The collective differences panel, which will consist of a senior Unite full time official and a senior EDF Energy executive, will thoroughly examine the matter of bonuses.
“We are pleased that these interim arrangements allow constructive dialogue to continue to finalise this important agreement,” said Nigel.
“Unite has been a constructive partner in the discussions to date and I look forward to this continuing throughout the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station,” he added.
The panel will seek to identify appropriate permanent bonus arrangements that are agreeable to all parties and is scheduled to deliver its recommendations on productivity/milestones bonus payments by August.
As part of the agreement, no industrial action will be considered while these interim arrangements are in place or until the collective differences procedure has been exhausted.
“I am pleased that following consultation with our stewards and members we along with the various parties have been able to agree a clear path forward and that the prospect of industrial action, which is always a last resort, can be taken off the agenda in order to allow the ‘Differences Panel’ to deliberate,” said Jerry Swain, Unite acting national officer for construction.
“The work undertaken by EDF Energy in ensuring that all parties signed up to the interim agreement has been crucial in providing a breathing space and creating the opportunity for a long-term solution being agreed to finally resolve this matter,” he added.