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
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.
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.
|All respondents||Employed respondents|
|Secondary or specialised education||63.6||668||64.6||346|
|Do not work||48.1||509||-||-|
|Specialist, civil servant||20.3||207||39.1||207|
|Length of service at present place of employment||Less than 1 year||13.3||69||13.3||69|
|10 and more years||24.8||142||24.8||142|
|It is hard to say||6.8||37||6.8||37|
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%).
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.
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.
The survey results (in Latvian, 1.34Mb PPT) are available for download.
Linda Romele, EPC Ltd