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EBA claims to be served in August

THE Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union’s new enterprise bargaining agreement could be put to builders as early as August.

The new EBA claim, due to come into effect in November, was understood to contain a 36-hour week and an 18 per cent pay rise over the next three years.

CFMEU secretary Kevin Reynolds confirmed the new EBA would include a 36-hour week.

He said details for the pay increase had not been confirmed.

“Our last EBA called for a 15 per cent pay increase over three years,” Mr Reynolds said.

“We’ll be meeting in Sydney later this month to thrash out the final details.

“We’ll serve our national log of claims on employers in August.”

There have been concerns raised that the CFMEU’s latest EBA will destroy the building industry.

Master Builders Association director Michael McLean said the latest EBA claim was an ominous sign for the industry.

“The 36-hour week was phased in over two to three years in Victoria. It will be an overnight thing in WA,” he said.

“In the past the top-end of the industry has been the first to concede to the union claim or to negotiate an outcome. It trickles down. If the union wants to pursue this across all sectors of the industry then public sector works project costs will go up 10 per cent.”

The MBA has indicated the costs of both the suspected pay increase and the 36-hour week will cause labour costs to increase 25 per cent.

Mr Reynolds disputed claims that the 36-hour week would cause problems.

“They said it would be the end of the world when we won it in Victoria. There is more building work going on now in Victoria than there was three years ago,” he said.

There are concerns a clause requiring employers to provide income insurance for workers could lead to bigger cost increases due to the difficulty in securing insurance cover for the building industry.

Mr Reynolds said he was not concerned about those problems.

“That insurance cover is the employer’s responsibility,” he said.

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