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ICE puts pay on the agenda

CIVIL ENGINEERS with pay problems could soon benefit from a dedicated advice service under an initiative being considered by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The move comes in response to a call by sister magazine NCE for action to raise civil engineers' salaries. ICE chief executive Mike Casebourne said the Institution was looking to set up a Professional Practices Committee responsible for members' welfare as employees.

The PPC, he added, would offer advice on pay, conditions, redundancy, setting up in business, insurance, legal liability and other employment issues.

The service could also be used by employers.

Vice president Michelle McDowell is being lined up to chair the group.

Casebourne made it clear that the ICE would not 'act as a trade union' in negotiating directly with a member's employer. However, the PPC might enter into 'a brief dialogue with an employer just to understand a member's difficulty and offer a balanced view'.

ICE President George Fleming's call for a minimum starting salary of ú18,000 ($27,000) for civil engineering graduates has sparked a flood of support from members.

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