SIPTU representatives have welcomed the enacting of a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO), today (Thursday, 19th October,) which sets minimum rates of pay in the construction industry as an “important first step” for workers in securing decent terms and conditions. SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Greg Ennis, said:  “Our members welcome the implementation of this SEO from today as an important first step in establishing decent rates of pay and fair conditions for construction workers. “The SEO establishes legally binding new minimum rates of pay for the various grades of construction worker. These are for the craft grade €18.93 per hour, for technical operatives (Grade A/Category 2) €18.36 per hour, skilled and semi-skilled operatives (Grade B and C/Category 1) €17.04 per hour and for new entrants €13.77 per hour. “In general this sees an increase of approximately 10% on the rates applicable to all grades under the Registered Employment Agreement (REA) for the industry which was valid until 2013, when it was struck down by the Supreme Court. In the case of new entrants the rate stays the same. For crane operatives the 10% extra is in addition to an increased allowance, which in effect amounts to a 25% increase in their basic pay, which was secured for them by SIPTU from 5th June, 2017. The SEO also makes progress in relation to sick pay and pension entitlements for our members." He added: “SIPTU members will continue to campaign to have this SEO applied retrospectively to the 13th July this year, the date on which the Labour Court issued its recommendation. We will also seek to secure a minimum one-hour travel time payment for workers who are currently not in receipt of it. As well as this, SIPTU will be contributing to a review of the grade system for construction workers which is on the agenda of a meeting of the National Joint Industrial Council scheduled for 1st November.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin Meere, said: “This important first step for construction workers in restoring decent terms and conditions within the industry was only possible due to the patience and commitment of the 14,000 SIPTU members in the sector.  “The achievement of securing this SEO was brought about by our activists in the industry relentlessly campaigning for such a move since the striking down of the REAs. It is their perseverance that has laid this basis for further improvements for construction workers in the future.”