Public power corporation agreement signed for 1999-2000
In June 1999, an enterprise-level collective agreement for 1999-2000 was signed by the management of the Public Power Corporation (DEI) and the DEI General Staff Federation (GENOP-DEI). Among other provisions, the accord provides for job security in the current reorganisation and deregulation of the electricity market.
A new two-year collective agreement for employees of the Public Power Corporation (DEI) was signed by management and the DEI General Staff Federation (GENOP-DEI), which represents 35,000 DEI workers, on 15 June 1999. The deal, covering 1999-2000, provides for important changes in both pay and other conditions of employment.
With regard to pay-related matters, the new agreement makes the following provisions:
- a GRD 1,280 increase in the "12th salary scale" - ie the minimum wage - and a 1% increase in the study allowance, backdated to 1 January 1999;
- a GRD 1,280 increase in the 12th salary scale and a 1% increase in the study allowance, to be awarded on 1 July 1999;
- a GRD 1,280 increase in the 12th salary scale and a 1% increase in the study allowance, to be awarded on 1 January 2000; and
- a 1% increase in the study allowance, to be awarded on 1 July 2000.
In article 3 of the agreement, the two sides resolve to examine the creation of a new pay system based on merit and to a large extent on pay based on work performance. Study of the new system is expected to be completed before the new collective agreement expires.
With regard to other matters, provision is made first of all to protect fully all jobs at DEI in view of the current reorganisation and deregulation of the electrical energy market. Provision is also made, in a clear and concise manner, for participation of GENOP-DEI at all levels of the reorganisation, and resources are secured for promoting its positions on issues such as insurance, reorganisation of the enterprise and deregulation of the market.
In article 2, the two sides commit themselves to "implementing reduction of working time to 35 hours per week without loss of pay, but without specifying at present when implementation of the measure will begin." However, it is stated that the measure will be applied following a detailed study which will begin immediately, as soon as legislation is in place, in the framework of the law on deregulation of the electrical energy market, to guarantee the same conditions of competition (eg the same working hours) for both DEI and its competitors.
The agreement also increases paid maternity leave from four to five months and, after maternity leave has ended, gives employees the right to choose between reduced working hours and paid leave of an equivalent length.
According to the first assessments by the administrative board of the GENOP-DEI, the new collective agreement represents a major accomplishment for DEI workers, because:
- it gives all workers substantial wage increases which are fairly distributed, since the minimum wage and study allowance are both increased; and
- it eliminates the feeling of insecurity among staff and creates the prospect of better working conditions through implementation of the 35-hour week.