National General Collective Agreement 1996-7 enters second year

The second part of the two-year National General Collective Agreement for 1996-7 has now come into force, providing for increases in the minimum wage and measures on issues such as parental leave .

The second part of the two-year National General Collective Agreement 1996-7 (EGSSE) came into force at the beginning of 1997. The principal purpose of the EGSSE is to set minimum pay levels, which have a two-fold significance: providing a framework for the social protection of unskilled workers and acting as a guideline for negotiations at more specific levels - enterprise, industry-wide or occupational. Whatever is agreed at the level of the EGSEE covers, without exception, the whole of the private sector, as well as the broader public sector (public administration is excluded). The wages of public servants have until now been determined by the Government, but this will have to change following Greece's ratification of International Labour Organisation Conventions Nos. 151 and 154, which consolidate the right of public servants to collective bargaining.

According to the EGSSE for 1996-7, the minimum daily wage is set at GRD 6,000 from January 1997 rising to GRD 6,195 from July 1997. Furthermore, the minimum monthly basic salary amounts to GRD 133,962 from January 1997 rising to GRD 138,315 from July 1997. These increases established by the 1996-7 EGSEE are is in line with the projected rate of inflation for 1997 (4.5%) plus a 2% increase which will be granted in two equal amounts during January and July of 1997. This percentage also includes an additional increase of 1% which derives from a readjustment mechanism.

The EGSEE also covers other institutional matters. For 1996-7 the most important of these are the pension and insurance systems, reductions in working time and parental leave:

  • Article 8 of the 1996-7 EGSEE emphasises the need to reform the social insurance system through a dialogue reflecting broad social representation, aimed at securing proposals for a specific framework of reform;
  • under Article 9, the parties to the agreement are to form a committee on which they will be equally represented. Its task will be to investigate in each sector the effects of working time reductions without simultaneous reductions in wages on employment and competitiveness in the enterprise; and
  • in Article 9, the parties also declare their intention to implement at national level the 1995 EU-level framework agreement on parental leave of 1995, and to proceed rapidly to the passage of relevant legislation in Greece.

Apart from these matters, the EGSEE also provides for the continued implementation of previously agreed provisions, such as paid leave and sick leave, and their improvement.

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