It has been proposed that a Sectional Employment Order which would give legal effect to sections of the National Collective Employment Agreement such as rates of pay, pensions, sick pay and death in service payments be established. The Labour Court has now issued a recommendation to the Minister, who has in turn put it to the houses of the Oireachtas. So what does this mean?
“Effectively, it will introduce a new rate of pay which will become legally binding for employers, including sub-contractors if passed by the Oireachtas,” says Richie Burke, HAPAI Director.
The following rates of proposed pay are as follows:
- Category 1 Newly Qualified Plumber/Pipefitter – €22.73 per hour
- Category 1 Plumber/Pipefitter 3rd year after qualifying – €23.33 per hour
- Category 1 Plumber/Pipefitter 6th year after qualifying – €23.60 per hour
- Apprentice 1st Year 33.3% of Category 1 – €7.57 per hour
- Apprentice 2nd Year 50% of Category 1 – €11.37 per hour
- Apprentice 3rd Year 75% of Category 1 – €17.05 per hour
- Apprentice 4th Year 90% of Category 1 – €20.66 per hour
Commenting on how members are reacting to the news, Richie said, “We have put it to our members and the reaction has been mixed. Initially there will always be a knee-jerk reaction. Employers react badly as it means a higher cost to employ plumbers and this is particularly difficult for smaller operations and for companies outside of the larger cities.
“Employees are delighted with their pay increases, naturally enough. We at HAPAI see both sides of the argument, but overall it will be good for the industry as a whole. There will always be time to adjust and hopefully it will have a positive effect. We just hope it does not entice the unqualified operators to further undercut legitimate businesses,” says Richie.