"Major Commercial" is classified as major building and construction sites with a project cost of over $20 million.
COMMERCIAL - OR "SECOND TIER"
A proposal for a second tier agreement for South East Queensland is being proposed.
The proposal is that the Union target medium-sized plumbing contractors who are working on projects ranging from $5 to $15 million. We are calling this part of the sector “commercial” as opposed to EBA work ($20 million and over) which we call "major commercial". Contractors working in the commercial part of the market generally do not have EBAs and union membership levels are extremely low.
It is proposed that any contractor who signs an agreement will also be required to sign an EBA so that the minute they pop their head up into our territory, they will be covered.
Similarly, if we start signing these agreements, a number of EBA companies may wish to also sign second tier (commercial) agreements so that they can also move into the commercial sector. Having all parties sign both major commercial and commercial agreements will safeguard existing members for work that is currently covered under EBA and will open up more options for our members in times of downturn. The key will be ensuring that our EBA members understand that any work offered by their EBA company in this new sector will be work that they would not have had otherwise and understanding why this work would be at a lower rate.
The North Queensland Commercial Plumbing and Mechanical Services Agreement was negotiated in 2013 and covers projects with a total cost of between $5 million and $20 million. Workers in North Queensland have long been paid some of the lowest wages and contract rates in the country. This agreement means that all industry stakeholders can work together to establish minimum standards for wages and conditions and therefore create a level playing field.