Unite Scotland has revealed that apprentice painters and decorators across Scotland are set to receive a ‘massive boost’ in wages of up to 8.5% in an agreement between the trade union, the Scottish Decorators Federation and the apprenticeship body.

In 2021/2022, Unite members that operate under the Scottish Painting Council agreement will see rates rise by 4% (2% on 1st November 2021, with a further 2% in March 2022).

Unite has also completed negotiations with the Scottish Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship Council (SPADAC), securing apprentices hourly pay rate rises of 5% for first year apprentices, 8.5% in their second year, 3.9% for their third, and 5% for their fourth.Other included aspects of the deal will see an additional week of paid sick leave, an additional days annual leave, increased bereavement leave to 5 days. It is estimated that more than 800 apprentices will benefit from the pay uplift.

Unite is highlighting the new pay agreement as a way of encouraging people into the Painting and Decorating trade by making it a more attractive career, and to create more competitive pay rates to help recruit and retain people into the craft. 

Some of workplaces covered by the agreement include the Bell Group, Marshall Construction Limited and Stewart Milne Homes. Colleges which provide Painter and Decorators courses for apprentices include Ayrshire, Dundee, Fife, North East Scotland Colleges and West Colleges Scotland.

Steven Dillon Unite Scotland Regional Coordinating Officer said: “The wage agreement we have negotiated for apprentice painters and decorators across Scotland is a massive boost to their pay packet. As we know, apprentices overall are on poverty pay so rises of up to 8.5% will help attract and retain people in the trade. Many have worked during the pandemic, and we hope this goes some way to act as a deserved reward.”

 Tam Kirby, Unite Fair work coordinator added: “Trade Skills in Scotland are the Gold Standard. This negotiation was to make sure that those skills are matched by fair pay, and decent terms and conditions. Unite will continue to fight to ensure that they are not watered down. The registration bodies exist to look after the industry, and the Scottish Painters Federation have done just that. Unite will continue to push for improvements, and hope other registration bodies take notice of the great work achieved for painters and apprentices.”