CfMEU NSW has traditionally avoided the MBA and tried to get others to sign its agreements before others followed. This represents a salary increase of more than $80,000 under the CFMEU agreements since 2011, when carpenters received 122,524 $US, or about 150 percent of the price. Brian Seidler, director of the Master Builders Association NSW, said the CFMEU`s proposed deal was a «turning point» after years of employers accepting 5 percent wage increases, now well above inflation (only 1.6 percent). The first model deal proposed by the CFMEU since the election means that construction workers in NSW could receive more than $200,000 for high-profile commercial projects, more than double the sector signage. Since 2011, workers with a 40-hour week under the CFMEU NSW agreements have again seen a 44.5 percent increase in their annual base salary from $72,919 to $104,995. The union argued that a 42-hour week was more representative of the industry and that 56-hour weeks were «large, very profitable commercial projects.» «Choosing a 56-hour week is totally unrealistic. Workers work an average of 42 hours, which is a standard 36-hour week plus six hours on a Saturday,» Greenfield said. The land government`s concern follows the Joint Plan of the Victorian and Federal Governments to improve the Monash Freeway last week due to a labour shortage and an increase in the cost of materials by $US.M 370 million. Tudehope said the NSW government was «committed to getting better value for money on all of its major infrastructure projects.» «This is a real turning point,» he said. «The atmosphere of the industry is that it`s simply totally unenforceable, especially for projects that have already been tendered and accepted.» «If the average construction worker works six days a week, how much more evidence of productivity is needed?» «Pay rates are so different from price that they increase the chances for more and more marginal entrepreneurs to exploit the gap,» said one senior executive. The union protects and improves the wages and conditions of members.
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