construction workkers
The CMFEU has approximately 144,000 members. Image: Steph Washi, Unsplash
  • Negotiated by the CFMEU
  • 12 per cent superannuation included in new EBA
  • Workers will have greater access 0ot mental health training

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) – one of the largest in Australia with approximately 144,000 members – recently negotiated new Bargaining Enterprise Agreements (EBA’s) with key players in the construction industry.

This includes companies such as LendLease, Multiplex, Probuild, John Holland, Laing O’Rourke and Watpac.

The Union says most construction workers in New South Wales will be covered under the new awards which include greater pay and better working conditions.

“Early in the bargaining process some employers tried to push for a wage freeze, opportunistically using COVID-19 as an excuse to try to wind conditions back,” says Darren Greenfield, CFMEU NSW Construction secretary.

“Given the efforts that thousands of construction workers made to keep the industry going through the pandemic and the increased hours worked in the face of the risk to themselves and their families, wage freezes or minimal improvements were never going to fly.”

To promote a greater work-life balance, under the new award workers in the construction industry will have rostered days off and there is a provision for 5-day week projects.

12 per cent superannuation is another feature of the new EBA – higher than the current national guarantee rate which is 9.5 per cent, although this rate is set to increase to 10 per cent as of July 1 2021.

There will be greater training opportunities in terms of asbestos and silica handling along with other improved occupational health and safety provisions such as crane safety.

Additionally, there will a training and assistance program regarding mental health and suicide awareness.

Mr Greenfield praised fellow members for dealing with disruptions caused by the pandemic effectively, especially for those who delivered projects not just on time, but often earlier than scheduled.

“Through their efforts they helped keep the economy afloat, making it possible for those workers directly affected by the restrictions to be assisted by the government,” said Mr Greenfield.

“CFMEU members deserve every cent of their wages and entitlements and decent safety and conditions generally. The CFMEU is not in the business of selling those out. We congratulate all our members for a great result.”

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