Construction ahead with sector pay rises

Builders
can feel pleased with the news that construction industry pay rises have been
the highest in the private sector for the third year running, according to
research published today in IRS Employment Review.  

The
IRS ‘Private Sector Pay in Perspective, 2001/02’ survey reveals wide variations
in pay settlements over the last year. The construction industry was the only
sector to see a rise in the median basic pay award.  In other sectors pay awards fell, by up to 0.8 percentage points
in the case of publishing and broadcasting.

In
the year ending 31 August 2002, private sector pay awards as a whole edged
downwards; from 3 per cent in September 2001 to 2.5 per cent by the end of the
bargaining year. The downward drift in settlements reflects a combination of
weak corporate profitability, sluggish economic growth and a benign
inflationary environment.

A
breakdown of industry sector pay deals is highlighted below:

Business
Sector                                 2001/02
Median Pay Award              2000/01
Median Pay Award

(no.
of settlements)

Call
centres (105)                                             3.0%                            3.1%

Chemicals
(93)                                                 3.0%                            3.1%

Construction
(15)                                             5.0%                            4.5%

Electricity,
gas and water (44)                           2.5%                            3.1%

Engineering
and metals (86)                              2.6%                            3.0%

Finance
(74)                                                     3.5%                            4.0%

Food,
drink and tobacco (51)                           2.8%                            3.0%

General
manufacturing (43)                               2.6%                            3.0%

General
services (110)                                      2.6%                            3.2%

Hotels
and catering (29)                                    2.5%                            3.0%

Paper
and printing (34)                                     2.5%                            3.0%

Publishing
and broadcasting (33)                       2.2%                            3.0%

Retail
and wholesale (65)                                  2.5%                            2.9%

Textiles
(22)                                                     2.3%                            2.5%

Transport
and communication (90)                    2.6%                            3.3 %

Voluntary
sector (77)                                        2.5%

This
table sets out basic pay rises in 16 industrial sectors, based on the median
(mid-point) level of settlements in each sector for the 12 months ending 31
August 2002. The overall private sector median for the period was 2.5 per cent,
compared to 3.1 per cent in the 2000/01 wage round.

Pay
and benefits editor for IRS Employment Review, David Carr said: "Pay
awards in the 2001/02 bargaining year were highest in the construction sector,
where the median deal was 5 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent a year ago.
Significantly, construction is the only sector where the median settlement this
year exceeds that of 2000/01.

"At
the foot of the settlement league table lies publishing and broadcasting. The
sector has been heavily affected by the downturn in advertising revenue and pay
deals have slumped accordingly. From a 3 per cent median award in 2000/01,
there has been a marked decline to 2.2 per cent this year."  

By Ben Willmott

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