New sectoral collective agreement increases civil servants´ salary
Sectoral collective agreement for civil service for 2006 creates the same framework for local-level collective bargaining on employment conditions as the previous one. The new collective agreement in addition to the increase of pay rates practically fixes employment and working conditions existing in organisations of state administration since 2005. However, the pay rates of civil servants will increase more in 2006 than in the previous year and will approach the salary increase in 2004.
A new sectoral collective agreement for civil service employees, covering 2006, was signed on 16 November 2005. The sectoral collective agreement took effect on 1 January 2006 and expires on 31 December 2006. Unlike the previous collective agreement signed after some longer disagreement between representatives of the government and trade unions only in February 2005, the negotiations were obviously easier this time.
The collective agreement is binding for all civil servants working in civil service offices in which a trade union organisation has been established. Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Minister of Interior and head of Civil Service Office signed the Agreement on behalf of the state. Representatives of the Confederation of Trade Unions (Konfederácia odborových zväzov Slovenskej republiky, KOZ SR) and the Independent Christian Trade Unions (Nezávislé kresťanské odbory Slovenska, NKOS) signed it on behalf of the employees.
The 2006 sectoral collective agreement allows the maximum reduction of civil servants´ working hours up to 2.5 hours weekly below the standard laid down in the Labour Code. It provides also for increase of paid annual leave for civil servants over the provisions set by the Act on Civil Service. Since 2005 the sectoral collective agreement for civil servants sets also minimum or maximum framework limits for local-level collective bargaining. New sectoral collective agreement specifies the same issues for local-level collective bargaining for 2006 and provides the same framework limits for negotiations as the previous 2005 sectoral collective agreement. It includes:
- rules on relationships between management of civil service offices and local trade unions
- a possible reduction of civil servants´ working hours to 37.5 hours weekly
- a possible extension of paid annual leave for civil servants by up to one week over the standard set by the Act on Civil Service
- the amount of bonuses provided to civil servants´ pay (according to the Act on Civil Service)
- providing catering services for employees
- creation of the social fund (at least 0.05 percentage points over and above the compulsory 1% taken from the gross annual wages of all civil servants) and its use.
Actual reduction of weekly working hours, extension of paid annual leave and other agreed issues for civil servants should be negotiated and fixed by local-level collective agreements for single civil service offices. However, if no collective bargaining takes place there, eg due to absence of the local trade union organisation, civil servants have standard working hours (40 hours a week), paid annual leave etc. as laid down in provisions of the Labour Code and Civil Service Act.
On the other hand, sectoral collective agreement for 2006 fixed higher increase of civil servants´ pay rates than was agreed in 2005 collective agreement. Since 1 July 2006 pay tariffs will increase by 5% and will concern all civil servants specified in Supplement No. 2 to Civil Service Act. The previous collective agreement for 2005 increased pay rates of civil servants by 4% while agreement for 2004 fixed 7% increase (SK0405101N).
The following mandatory provisions are the same as in 2005:
- when retiring, the civil servants will receive 'discharge benefit' in amount of their last month´ pay over and above the standard laid down in the Act on Civil Service
- in contracts concluded during 2006 on supplementary pension insurance or supplementary pension savings, the amount of the employer’s contribution will be at least 2% of the civil servants’ payroll. However, the amounts agreed in contracts concluded till the end of 2005 are valid or may even increase in 2006.
Apart from higher pay rate increase the 2006 sectoral collective agreement has brought no progress in employment conditions of civil servants, in comparison with 2005. However, implementation of the sectoral collective agreement will be assessed in six-month period by entitled negotiators upon the request of either party and any of the contracting parties can request for a change or supplement to the collective agreement.
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