Membership and finances of social partner organisations

The results of an annual survey of membership organisations in Lithuania were published in September 2012. The survey has been carried out since 2006, and provides information on the membership figures and funding of trade unions and employer organisations. It shows that in 2011 trade union membership decreased but union funds increased. At the same time, there was an increase, though less significant, both in the membership and funds of employer organisations.

Trade unions

Lithuanian Statistics (LS) has been gathering data on the membership of trade unions since 2006. In that year, the number of union members was recorded at 115,700. In 2008, membership had decreased to 111,700. By the following year, there had been a slight increase to 115,400, accounting for 13% of those working with employment contracts in Lithuania. In the same year, 2009, trade unions collected a record amount in membership fees, pulling in LTL 11.1 million (€3.21 million as at 6 December 2012). Since then, however, Lithuania’s trade union membership has continued to decline (Table 1).

In September 2012, LS released the union membership and finance figures based on survey data collected in 2011.

Table 1: Trade union membership and funds in Lithuania, 2006–2011
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Membership

115,700

115,000

111,700

115,400

112,600

108,900

Annual increase (%)

 

-0.6

-2.9

3.3

-2.4

-3.3

Funds, LTL (€) million

13.2 (3.82)

16.4 (4.75)

20.2 (5.85)

18.4 (5.33)

17.6 (5.09)

19.0 (5.5)

Annual increase (%)

-

24.2

23.2

-8.9

-4.3

7.9

Source: LS

According to the LS survey, in 2011 trade unions had 108,900 members, representing around 10% of employees working with employment contracts in Lithuania, a fall of 3.3% compared to 2010.

Trade union funds increased almost by 8% in 2011 and reached LTL 19 million (€5.50). The main source of trade union funds – membership fees – accounted for 51.4% of union receipts, while funding from the European Union (EU) accounted for a further 27%.

In 2011, trade unions spent most of their funds (59%) on goods and services. Wages/salaries and social insurance contributions accounted for about 30% of trade union expenses.

Employer organisations

As with trade unions, LS has been collecting data on the membership of business and employer organisations since 2006. During this period, the highest level of membership of employer organisations was in 2007, amounting to 13,200 members. Membership has declined since then, although settling at around the 12,000 mark with only minor fluctuations. Despite the decline, the highest levels of funds collected by business and employer organisations were recorded in 2008 and 2011 (Table 2).

Table 2: Employer organisations membership and funds in Lithuania, 2006–2011
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Membership

12,800

13,200

12,400

11,800

12,000

12,200

Annual increase (%)

 

3.1

-6.1

-4.8

1.7

1.7

Funds, LTL (€) million

68.7 (19.9)

102.6 (29.7)

113.5 (32.9)

91.5 (26.5)

107.3 (31.1)

114.7 (33.2)

Annual increase (%)

-

49.3

10.6

-19.4

17.3

6.9

Source: LS

In 2011, business and employer organisation membership increased by 200, or 1.7%, compared to 2010.

Business and employer organisation funding was at its highest-ever level in 2011, with funds totalling LTL 114.7 million (€33.2 million), an increase of 6.9% on 2010.

As in previous years, membership fees from people in the legal profession represented the main source of funding.

In 2011, 60% of the total funds of business and employer organisations came from membership fees. Money from the EU funds represented the second largest source of income, accounting for around 29% of the total.

As with the trade unions, in 2011 business and employer organisations spent most of their funds (63%) on goods and services. Wages/salaries and social insurance contributions accounted for approximately 30% of their expenses.

Inga Blažiene, Institute of Labour and Social Research

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