SIPTU has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, that he is to introduce a system of random audits of school and Department of Education funded third level building projects, to verify pay and conditions compliance. SIPTU Construction Sector Organiser, Martin Meere, said: “The introduction of a system of random audits to ensure that contractors are adhering to the Registered Employment Agreement (REA) for the construction industry follows discussions between the Department of Education and trade union representatives.“All public works contracts include a clause specifying the payment of the appropriate REA rates, including pensions. Trade union organisers will fully co-operate with the Department appointed auditors in ensuring these contractual and legal obligations are met.“Trade unions will also continue our own site visits and inspections to ensure that employers are in full compliance. This will help ensure that there is a level playing field for contractors bidding for public contracts by eliminating those operating in the black economy.”