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New body needed for m&e deal, says HVCA

The Heating and Ventilating Contractor’s Association (HVCA) has made it clear that it wants a new body to control a new combined working agreement for the m&e sector.


The association made the announcement at its annual press luncheon, which took place on Friday 25 January.


The HVCA and its electrical counterpart, the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) and SELECT – the ECA’s equivalent in Scotland – are negotiating an agreed position before they begin talks on this matter with unions.


The ECA proposes using the Joint Industry Board (JIB) as the controlling body, while the HVCA feels a new body should be created.


Peter Rimmer, head of employment affairs at the HVCA, told the assembled press: “The creation of a new body to address this issue is a key matter. We feel the JIB has no locus in the mechanical sector and comments on the JIB from the mechanical industry have often been unflattering.”


The association also updated attendees on the merger plans of the HVCA and ECA, saying that a survey had been sent to members of both organisations. The survey focuses on two key questions, asking for support for the concept of ‘convergence’ and support for the formation of a ‘convergence’ board.


The results will be presented to the HVCA and ECA boards in the spring. The outcome of the survey is not binding.


In a further development, the HVCA plans to strengthen its relationship with labour agencies, with a view to improving the supply of skilled workers to its members. It plans to unveil the agreement with labour agencies in the spring.


Mr Rimmer said: “It is appropriate to establish a strong relationship with labour agencies in order to supply skilled workers, including those from abroad, to our members. We plan to validate labour agencies in the same way as we carry out inspections and assessments of our own members.”


The HVCA also reported that its members were feeling no effects from the waves of recently introduced energy efficiency legislation.


HVCA president John Miller told the press: “We are asking our members in the country about energy efficiency legislation and there is no enforcement at all. Clients don’t want it and building control aren’t involved. There is not a grass shoot showing that anyone is taking it seriously.”


The HVCA continued that building control was still “woefully inadequate” in enforcing Building Regulations (See H&V News, September 22) but held out hope that clients would use legal action to force legislative compliance when completing the sale or lease of buildings.