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Claims unskilled labourers earning as much as $150,000 a year in Melbourne

Building workers will vote today on a new pay deal, despite already earning more than double the average police officer, fire fighter or nurse.

The CFMEU is pushing for a 15 per cent pay rise over three years.

A Deloitte Access Economics report has found carpenters working under a union deal average $163,000 per annum, while entry level labourers earn $151,000.

Master Builders Association chief executive Radley De Silva told 3AW Breakfast employers were often left with little choice but to pay those wages if they wanted to complete jobs.

‘A lot of these jobs are subject to what’s called liquidated damages and if they’re not delivered on time, then the employer could be subject to penalties,’ he told Ross and John.

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