Survey confirms effectiveness of collective agreements

The Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia’s seventh survey on working condition issues was conducted in February 2011. The survey investigated workers’ self-assessment of their psycho-emotional state, use of their annual holiday entitlement; frequency of overtime work and its remuneration; and the existence and effectiveness of collective agreements. Many respondents reported feeling tired, stressed, overworked and hopeless. Many also disliked their jobs.

About the survey

Aims

As part of the European Social Fund project, ‘The practical implementation in economic spheres and enterprises of regulations regarding working conditions and safety at work’, which began in 2008, the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS) undertakes a population survey. The aim is to determine society’s views on specific issues to do with working conditions.

The survey is conducted by the Marketing and Public Opinion Research Centre (SKDS) three times a year. Each survey has a specific theme. The seventh survey examined:

  • workers’ self-assessment of their psycho-emotional state;
  • use of their annual holiday entitlement;
  • frequency of overtime work and its remuneration;
  • the existence and effectiveness of collective agreements.

Methodology

The survey was conducted in February 2011. Replies were received from 1,043 people aged between 15 and 74 during face-to-face interviews in their homes. The responses from a target group of 534 employed respondents were analysed separately. The survey was conducted using a stratified sampling technique in all regions of Latvia.

Profile of respondents

As shown in the table, 47.2% of ‘all respondents’ were men and 52.8% were women. The breakdown according to age group was even apart from the 55–74 age group, which had more respondents (27.3%) than the other age groups. Some 63.6% of all respondents had received a secondary or specialised education.

In terms of employment, 13.7% of all respondents were employed in the public sector, 38.1% in the private sector; 48.1% were not employed. Some 24.1% were blue-collar workers, 20.3% were specialists or civil servants, and 19.3% were pensioners.

Some 30.3% of all respondents had worked at their present place of employment for 1–5 years and 31.5% of all respondents live in the capital, Riga.

Profile of respondents
    All respondents Employed respondents
% Number % Number
Total   100% 1,043 100% 534
Gender Male 47.2 479 47.4 246
  Female 52.8 564 52.6 288
Age 15–24 17.8 166 9.3 45
  25–34 18.7 162 27.1 121
  35–44 17.7 198 26.5 154
  45–54 18.5 199 24.1 135
  55–74 27.3 318 13.0 79
Education Primary education 16.9 171 6.4 33
  Secondary or specialised education 63.6 668 64.6 346
  Higher education 19.5 204 29.1 155
Sector Public sector 13.7 148 26.5 148
  Private sector 38.1 386 73.5 386
  Do not work 48.1 509 - -
Main occupation Manager 3.1 33 6.1 33
  Specialist, civil servant 20.3 207 39.1 207
  Worker 24.1 247 46.5 247
  Farmer 1.6 18 3.1 18
  Individual work 2.7 29 5.2 29
  Pensioner 19.3 224 - -
  Pupil, student 10.2 95 - -
  Housewife 2.7 27 - -
  Unemployed 15.9 163 - -
Length of service at present place of employment Less than 1 year 13.3 69 13.3 69
  1–5 years 30.3 156 30.3 156
  5–10 years 24.8 130 24.8 130
  10 and more years 24.8 142 24.8 142
  It is hard to say 6.8 37 6.8 37
Region Riga 31.5 316 35.3 181
  Near Riga 17.4 183 15.1 82
  Vidzeme 10.4 117 9.4 54
  Kurzeme 13.2 134 13.3 69
  Zemgale 12.4 135 12.9 73
  Latgale 15.1 158 13.8 75

Key findings

Self-assessment of workers’ psycho-emotional state

All working respondents answered this question, with 94% reporting that they sometimes feel tired while performing their duties and 42% admitting that they frequently feel tired. Mostly older employees in the 45–54 age group feel tired and 84% of respondents reported experiencing stress at work. Those who are employed in the public sector experience more tiredness and stress at work than those employed in the private sector. Some 77% of respondents consider themselves overworked because of their heavy workload, 52% claim to feel hopelessness at their workplace and 53% reported that they disliked their jobs.

Use of holiday entitlement

This question was answered by all those who had worked at their present place of employment for at least one year. Of these 465 workers, 68% had made full use of their holiday entitlement, but almost one in five workers had not. Those in the target group and employed in the public sector (135 people) had made the fullest use of their allotted leave (84%).

Overtime work

All working respondents answered this question, with 63% reporting that they tended to work overtime and 19% frequently doing so. In the public sector, 61% of those who are employed tend to work overtime while 65% do so in the private sector. Some 38% of those who work overtime do not receive additional remuneration. Of the 118 respondents in the target group, workers who live in Riga were the most likely to receive additional payment for overtime work (54%).

Existence of a collective agreement

All working respondents answered this question, with 45% reporting that they had signed a collective agreement with their employer. Some 83% indicated that a collective agreement improves their security at work and legal relations with their employer. Some 65% of those who employed in the public sector had a collective work agreement, but only 38% of those employed in the private sector had such an agreement.

Commentary

The survey data indicate that the psycho-emotional state of employees is critical. Many feel tired, stressed, overworked and hopeless; they also dislike their jobs. However, employees do not make full use their rights – they do not use all their annual holiday entitlement and they do not receive additional pay for overtime work. The results indicate that social dialogue improves working conditions, confirming the effectiveness of collective agreements.

Reference

The survey results (in Latvian, 1.34Mb PPT) are available for download.

Linda Romele, EPC Ltd

 

 

 

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