Bulgaria: Representativeness of the European social partner organisations in the cross-industry social dialogue

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Social partners,
  • Social policies,
  • Munkaügyi kapcsolatok,
  • Published on: 13 március 2014



About
Country:
Bulgaria
Author:
Institution:

The growth rate of Bulgaria’s GDP accelerated to 1.7% in 2011. In 2012, the recovery of the economy from recession continued. In the third quarter of the year GDP rose by 0.5% compared to the same period of 2011. The achievement of a budget deficit lower than 3% is a positive fact. The growth of the economy was not accompanied by employment growth. Unemployment remains high – about 12% in September 2012. The negative impact of the crisis on employment was most pronounced in small and medium-sized enterprises. Around 10% of SMEs have gone out of business during the crisis.

1. Cross-sector collective agreements

1.1. Are employees in your country covered by cross-sector collective bargaining conducted by peak-level social partner organisations, including economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

No

1.2. If yes, please indicate whether cross-sector collective bargaining takes place at:

Both National level and Regional/Territorial level

If both national and regional/territorial cross-sector collective bargaining is present, please illustrate briefly the relative importance of the two levels.

1.3. If yes, please consider the five most relevant* cross-sector collective agreements valid in 2011 (or most recent data) and indicate their type (economy-wide, inter-sector, occupational), the name of the agreements and their duration, the geographical scope (national/territorial), the sectors, occupations and types of undertakings (e.g. only SME) covered by the agreements, the bargaining parties to the agreements and the numbers of employees covered (also estimate)

* Only (wage) agreements which are (re)negotiated on a reiterated basis.

2. Formulation and implementation of cross-industry public policies

2.1. Do bipartite or tripartite statutory bodies dealing with labour market and industrial relations regulation at cross-sector level exist? If yes, please indicate their main domain of activity (for instance, health and safety, equal opportunities, labour market, social security and pensions etc.) and the interest organisations having representatives in them:

Table 1: Cross-sector public policies*

Name of the body and scope of activity

Bipartite/ tripartite

Trade unions (union confederations) having representatives (reps)

Employer associations having reps.

National Council for Tripartite Cooperation – labour and social security legislation, industrial relations regulation, wages and incomes and living standards, budget policy

tripartite

CITUB

Podkrepa CL

BIA

CEIBG

BICA

BCCI

National Council for Employment – discusses National Plans for Employment and measures for increasing employment

tripartite

CITUB

Podkrepa CL

BIA

CEIBG

BICA

BCCI

National Council for Vocational Education – discusses legislation and issues on vocational educations

tripartite

CITUB

Podkrepa CL

BIA

CEIBG

BICA

BCCI

National Council for Lifelong Learning – discusses legislation and issues on lifelong learning

tripartite

CITUB

Podkrepa CL

BIA

CEIBG

BICA

BCCI

National Council for Health and Safety in Work – discusses legislation on health and safety

tripartite

CITUB

Podkrepa CL

BIA

CEIBG

BICA

BCCI

National Council for Gender Equality – discusses issues on gender equality

tripartite

CITUB

Podkrepa CL

BIA

CEIBG

BICA

BCCI

* Cross-sector policies target and affect (major part of) the national economy.

3. The peak-level associations on the labour and employer side

This section includes the following cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations and cross-sector, peak-level employer organisations:

(i) cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations which are directly or indirectly (via their member unions) party to cross-sector collective bargaining/collective employment regulation OR directly involved in bipartite or tripartite consultation in labour market and industrial relations regulation at cross-sector level

(ii) cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations which are a member of at least one of the cross-sector European Union Federations (i.e. the European Trade Union Confederation – ETUC; Eurocadres; and the European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff – CEC)

(iii) cross-sector, peak-level employer organisations which are directly or indirectly (via their member associations) a party to cross-sector collective bargaining/collective employment regulation OR directly involved in bipartite or tripartite consultation in labour market and industrial relations regulation at cross-sector level

(iv) cross-sector, peak-level employer organisations which are a member of at least one of the cross-sector European Employer/Business Federations (i.e.BUSINESSEUROPE; the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services – CEEP; and the European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – UEAPME)

3a Overview of the Industrial relations landscape in the economy

In 2012 the industrial relations landscape changed after the census. Four of the six employers’ organisations met new criteria for representativeness. Two employers’ organisations that represent small and medium businesses – the Union for Economic Initiative (UEI) and the Union of Private Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria (UPEB) – did not submit documents to the census because they could not meet the new criteria. To preserve the national representation of its members, the UPEB was merged with the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA). The trade union representation remains the same.

3b Data on the cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations

Table 2: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) (Конфедерация на независимите синдикати в България)

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all occupations among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the union confederation engaged in cross-sector collective employment regulation (see briefing note for explanation)?

Yes

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union confederation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

Unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this union confederation…?

On an ad-hoc basis and on a regular basis

Members

How many lower-level trade union organisations are affiliated to the trade union confederation?

6,381 (2012)

How many active members in employment does the union confederation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member unions)?

275,762 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the union confederation’s density in terms of active members.

12.9%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

International Trade Union Confederation

To which European-level organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

European Trade Union Confederation

Source of information

Vice president of CITUB

Website: www.knsb-bg.org

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

Table 3: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (Podkrepa CL) (Конфедерация на труда „Подкрепа“)

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all occupations among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the union confederation engaged in cross-sector collective employment regulation (see briefing note for explanation)?

Yes

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union confederation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

Unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this union confederation…?

On an ad-hoc basis and on a regular basis

Members

How many lower-level trade union organisations are affiliated to the trade union confederation?

2,268 (2012)

How many active members in employment does the union confederation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member unions)?

88,329 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the union confederation’s density in terms of active members.

4.1% (2012)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

International Trade Union Confederation

To which European-level organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

European Trade Union Confederation

Source of information

Trade union confederation International Secretary

Website: www.podkrepa.org

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

Table 4: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Professional and managerial staff PODKREPA secretariat (SPMS Podkrepa) (Секретариат на професионалния и мениджърския персонал към Конфедерация на труда „Подкрепа“)

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all occupations among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the union confederation engaged in cross-sector collective employment regulation (see briefing note for explanation)?

No, professional and managerial staff are represented by their respective trade union confederations which engaged in cross-sector collective employment regulation

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union confederation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

No, professional and managerial staff are represented by their respective trade union confederations which are directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance

Members

How many lower-level trade union organisations are affiliated to the trade union confederation?

na

How many active members in employment does the union confederation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member unions)?

11,480 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the union confederation’s density in terms of active members.

0.5% (2012)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

 

To which European-level organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

EUROCADRES

Source of information

Trade union confederation International Secretary

Website: www.podkrepa.org

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

3c Data on the cross-sector, peak-level employer associations

Table 5: Employer organisation fact sheet: Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) (Българска стопанска камара)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the employer organisation involved in cross-sector collective employment regulation?

Yes

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

Unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On a regular basis and on an ad-hoc basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Sectoral federations – 93

Regional/Territorial federations – 120

Companies – 13,082

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

13,082 (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

644,723 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

3.6%

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

31.2% (2012)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

International Organisation of Employers

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

BUSINESSEUROPE

Source of information

Vice president of BIA

Website: www.bia-bg.com

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

Table 6: Employer organisation fact sheet: Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG) (Кжонфедерация на работодателите и индустриалците в България)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

No, the confederation doesn’t cover cooperatives and SMEs.

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

Information not available

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

Unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On an ad-hoc basis and on a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are… (multiple responses are possible)

Sectoral federations – 70

Regional/Territorial federations – 101

Companies – 5,336

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

5,336 (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

504,984 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

1.5%

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

23.6%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

International Chamber of Commerce

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

 

Source of information

Parliamentary Secretary of CEIBG

Website: www.ceibg.bg

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

Table 7: Employer organisation fact sheet: Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) (Българска търговско промишлена палата)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the employer organisation involved in cross-sector collective employment regulation?

Yes

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

Unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On an ad-hoc basis and on a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Sectoral federations – 103

Regional/Territorial federations – 28

Companies – 21,977

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

21,977 (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

665,714 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

6.0% (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

31.1% (2012)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

World Trade Centers Association

International Chamber of Commerce

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

Association of the European Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Source of information

PR of BCCI

Website: www.bcci.bg

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

Table 8: Employer organisation fact sheet: Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) (Асоциация на индустриалния капитал в България)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the employer organisation involved in cross-sector collective employment regulation?

Yes

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Sectoral federations – 38

Regional – 75

Companies – 6626

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

6,626 (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

335,805 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

1.8%

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

15.7%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

International Organisation of Employers

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

CEEP

Source of information

Secretary General of BICA

Website: www.bica-bg.org

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

Table 9: Employer organisation fact sheet: Union for Private Economic Enterprise (UPEE) (Съюз за стопанска инициатива)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

No, the union covers mainly SMEs

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No

If No. Is the employer organisation involved in cross-sector collective employment regulation (see briefing note for explanation)?

Yes, but in the middle of 2012 the union was no longer nationally representative

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Sectoral federations – 47

Regional/Territorial federations – 80

Companies – 4,646

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

4,646 (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

152,840 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

1.3% (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

7.1% (2012)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

International Organisation of Employers

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

UEAPME

Source of information

Secretary General of UPEE

Website: www.ssi.bg.net

EIRO national correspondent: Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

4. Inter-associational relationships

4a Inter-union relationships

4a.1 Please list all trade union confederations covered by this study whose domains overlap.

• CITUB

• Podkrepa CL

4a.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the trade union confederations, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No

4a.3 If yes, are certain trade union confederations excluded from these rights?

4b Inter-employer association relationships

4b.1 Please list all employer associations covered by this study whose domains overlap.

  • BIA
  • CEIBG
  • BCCI
  • BICA

4b.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the employer associations, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No

4b.3 If yes, are certain employer associations excluded from these rights?4b.4 Are there cross-sector employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No

5. The system of collective bargaining

5.1.a Estimate the national economy’s rate of collective bargaining coverage (i.e. the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the economy).

Collective bargaining coverage is about 30%.

5.1.b Estimate the national economy’s rate of collective bargaining coverage adjusted for those parts of the economy which are excluded from the right to collective bargaining (i.e. the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the economy minus those excluded from the right to collective bargaining).

- 33.4%

5.2. Illustrate the relative importance of cross-sector agreements, sectoral agreements and single-employer agreements both in terms of:

The percentage of the total number of employees covered;

  • Sectoral agreements and single-employer agreements coverage – 30%.

• The existence of centralisation/coordination rules and mechanisms concerning the level of wage increases and/or the different topics treated at the various levels (cross-sector, sectoral, and single-employer levels).

• The minimum wage for the country is negotiated at the national level (in NCTC); it increased by 7.0% in 2012.

5.3a. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations? Does it apply to both cross-sector and sectoral agreements?

Yes, there is a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers that are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations that apply to sectoral agreement.

5.3b. If there is a practice of extending collective agreements, is this practice pervasive or rather limited and exceptional? Is there any difference between cross-sector and sectoral agreements?

That practice is rather limited – five sectoral collective agreements only were extended.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6a Statutory regulations of representativeness for trade union confederations

6a.1 In the case of the trade union confederations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a union confederation must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Yes, to be representative, trade union must fulfil the following criteria:

  • at least 75,000 members;
  • organisations in more than one-quarter of economic activities according to NACE, with at least 5 members in each or at least 50 member organisations with at least 5 members each in each economic activity;
  • local authorities in more than one-quarter of the municipalities in the country, plus a national managing body; and the status of a legal entity, obtained by registration in line with the procedure for registering non-profit associations at least three years before the census.

6a.2 In the case of the trade union confederations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a union confederation must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Yes, the same criteria as 6a.1

6a.3 Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness at cross-sector level? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

No

6b Statutory regulations of representativeness for employer organisations

6b.1 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

  • at least 750 member companies with no fewer than 10 employees each and no fewer than 15,000 employees in the member companies;
  • has employers organisations in more than one-quarter of the activities under NACE with no less than 5% of the employees in each economic activity or 10 members in each activity;
  • has local bodies in more than a quarter of the municipalities, plus a national managing body.

6b.2 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Yes, the same criteria as 6b.1

6b.3 Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations at cross-sector level? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No

7. Commentary

New criteria for representativeness of the social partners, proposed by the government and approved by the parliament, have led to changes in the employers side (four instead of six employers’ associations). That also changed the configuration of the tripartite structures and of the Economic and Social Council.

Some of the new criteria for employer representativeness were abolished by the Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court as unconstitutional.

The new criteria did not lead to a solution of double and triple membership in employers' associations. The argument is that the membership is voluntary and the statutes do not restrict employers to join to only one structure, which is the case for trade unions. This calls into question the accuracy of the census data.

Tatiana Mihaylova, ISTUR

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