Lifelong learning negotiations fail in insurance sector
Talks over lifelong learning between the EU-level social partners in the insurance sector broke down in May 2004. Issues under discussion had included the provision of training during working time and the involvement of trade unions in the training process.
On 28 May 2004, negotiations over lifelong learning between the social partners in the EU-level insurance sector broke down after a year. The partners are UNI-Europa Finance for trade unions and three employers’ organisations - the European Federation of National Insurance Associations (CEA), the European Association of Cooperative and Mutual Insurers (ACME) and the International Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Providers (BIPAR). UNI-Europa Finance, which negotiated a joint declaration on lifelong learning with EU-level banking sector employers' organisations in December 2002 (EU0212207F), had hoped to be able to conclude a similar accord for the insurance sector and has expressed its disappointment at the breakdown of the talks. The unions wanted to reach agreement on mechanisms to establish competence development needs, taking place during working time and financed by the employer. However, no agreement was reached on this point and the parties also failed to agree on the extent to which trade unions should be involved in training initiatives at company level.
Oliver Roethig, speaking for UNI-Europa Finance, stated: 'This industry is moving so fast - with technology changes and growing offshore outsourcing - that a big commitment needs to be made to upskilling and reskilling staff if they are to have long-term job security.' UNI-Europa Finance has stated that it will continue to seek consensus on these issues and is urging employers and trade unions at national level in the insurance sector to discuss the topic of lifelong learning during their own collective bargaining.