Bulgaria: The representativeness of trade unions and employer associations in the live performance sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Agreements,
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Social partners,
  • Employee representation,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 16 May 2013



About
Country:
Bulgaria
Author:
Violeta Zlateva
Institution:

Performing arts – theatre, music and dance – are the sectors with the largest number of permanent employees across all sectors in culture and with the most extensive financing. Collective bargaining in the sector was neglected by the Ministry of Culture from 2005 to 2009. The Ministry refused to enter into negotiations on the grounds that it could not be a party to a collective agreement because the ministry is not the employer in the sector. In late July 2009 a Branch Collective Agreement (BCA) was signed in ‘Music and Dance’ valid for two years, but the clauses of the contract were not accepted by the current Ministry of Culture and they insisted on a review of the agreement. On 18 June 2012, the new BCA in the ‘Music and Dance’ sector was signed.

1. Sectoral properties

In terms of performing arts – theatre, music and dance – the policy in the last 20 years has focused on maintaining the institutional infrastructure inherited from socialism and providing conditions for creating a good artistic product, garnished with phraseology for private investment in culture, decentralisation, and so on.

Economic background

Development of sectoral employment and companies
  2000 2010

Number of companies in the sector

-

81

Comment

Source of company data

-

National Statistics Institute (NSI)

Aggregate employment

 

8,348

There is no self-employment within the sector

Male employment

 

4,274

Female employment

 

4,074

Share of sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy

 

0.27%

Source of employment figures

 

NSI

Comment

Aggregate employees

 

90.01 – 6,548

90.02 – 842

90.03 – 513

90.04 – 445

Male employees

 

90.01 – 2,956

90.02 – 678

90.03 – 325

90.04 – 315

Female employees

 

90.01 – 3,592

90.02 – 164

90.03 – 188

90.04 – 130

Share of sectoral employees as a % of total employees in the economy

 

0.27%

Source of employee figures

 

NSI

Comment

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

(i) trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining:

The Union of Bulgarian Musician and Dancers (UBMD) is affiliated to the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB);

Federation Cultura is affiliated to the Confederation of Labour Podkrepa (CL Podkrepa). In CL Podkrepa there is no separate federation of the actors – they are direct members of Federation Cultura.

(ii) trade unions which are a sector-related member of the sector-related European Union Federations (i.e. the Media and Entertainment International – Technical Professions of the Entertainment Sector – EURO-MEI; the European Federation of Artists and Actors – EuroFIA; and the International Federation of Musicians – FIM).

(iii) employer associations which are a party to sector-related collective bargaining: the Bulgarian Association of the Employers in Culture (BAEC).

(iv) employer associations (business associations) which are a member of the sector-related European Employer/Business Federation (i.e. the Performing Arts Employers Associations League in Europe – PEARLE*): BAEC is member of PEARLE*

2a Overview of the Industrial relations landscape in the sector

Performing arts – theatre, music and dance – are the sectors with the largest number of permanent employees across all sectors of culture and with the most extensive financing. In terms of theatre, music and dance, the policy in the last 20 years has focused on maintaining the institutional infrastructure inherited from socialism and providing conditions for creating a good artistic product, garnished with phraseology for private investment in culture, decentralisation, and so on.

In 2010, due the economic crisis and under the pretext of ‘the observance of market rules in the performing arts’, the government drastically cut the budget for culture.

This had the following effects:

  • Cut off the symphonic orchestras;
  • Merging the modern ballet ‘Arabesque’ with the ballet Sofia State Music Theatre;
  • Reducing the number of musicians, singers, dancers, technicians, resulting in an inability to perform much of the music repertoire (Bulgarian, foreign, romantic, classical, modern) – cuts in the sector of 500 people;
  • Reducing of salaries, if any are paid;
  • Impose punishments of the employees who oppose reform;
  • Layoffs (mass redundancies), violation of labour legislation in Bulgaria;
  • Imposition of a negative attitude towards the performers, their qualifications and their jobs in society in general.

The international community of musicians opposes the reforms of the performing arts in Bulgaria. The Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers at CITUB with FIM (International Federation of Musicians), FIA (Syndicate of French musicians), and Euro-MEI (European Association of working in media), adopted a declaration at the international conference held in Sofia in September 2010 in support of Bulgarian artists at the European and international bodies, and UNESCO.

2b Data on the trade unions

The scope of this study relates to the live performance sector, which is defined as embracing the following sub-activities:

  • Performing arts (e.g. live theatrical presentations, concerts, operas, dance productions)
  • Support activities to performing arts (e.g. activities of directors, producers, stage-set designers and builders, scene shifters, lighting engineers etc.)
  • Artistic creation (activities of individual artists such as sculptors, painters, cartoonists, engravers, etchers etc.; activities of individual writers, for all subjects including fictional writing, technical writing etc.; activities of independent journalists; restoring of works of art such as paintings etc.)
  • Operation of arts facilities (i.e. operation of concert and theatre halls and other arts facilities)
UBMD
Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers
Съюз на българските музикални и танцови дейци към Конфедерацията на независимите синдикати в България

The union’s domain

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all types of the sub-activities, as follows?

 

1. Performing arts

Yes

2. Support activities to performing arts

Yes

3. Artistic creation

Yes, to the UBMD (Art studio) ‘Eolina

4. Operation of arts facilities

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all of the following types of employees: Blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all forms of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, etc.) (of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all size classes of enterprises within the live performance sector?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all occupations within the live performance sector?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover (part of) the live performance sector in all regions of your country?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover workers with other than standard employment contracts within the live performance sector (for instance, self-employed, temporary agency workers, fixed term contracts, freelancers, etc.)?

No.

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover employees outside the live performance sector?

Yes.

General information on the union

 

Is the union engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Both forms apply

How many employees are covered by the sector-related collective agreement/s signed by the union within the live performance sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

90.01 – 1,450

90.02 – 150

90.03 – 200

90.04 – 100

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

How often do sector-related consultations occur?

On a regular basis (at least once a year)

Members

 

How many active members in employment does the organisation have in total (i.e. within the live performance sector and beyond)?

2,250, of which 250 pensioners

How many active members in employment does the organisation have within the live performance sector only?

1,900

Please indicate/ estimate whether the union’s density in terms of members within the live performance sector is higher than/ lower than/ (nearly) equal to its overall density. Please provide sources, if possible.

Lower than overall density

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the union affiliated?

FIM

To which European level organisations is the union affiliated?

EURO-MEI

To which national level organisations is the union affiliated?

CITUB

Source of information

Prof. Petya Bagovska

www.ubmd.org

Federation Culture
Federation Culture at CL Podkrepa
Федерация ‘Култура’ към КТ ‘Подкрепа’

The union’s domain

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all types of the sub-activities, as follows?

 

1. Performing arts

Yes

2. Support activities to performing arts

Yes

3. Artistic creation

Yes

4. Operation of arts facilities

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all of the following types of employees: Blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all forms of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, etc.) (of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all size classes of enterprises within the live performance sector?

Yes.

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover all occupations within the live performance sector?

Yes.

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover (part of) the live performance sector in all regions of your country?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover workers with other than standard employment contracts within the live performance sector (for instance, self-employed, temporary agency workers, fixed term contracts, freelancers, etc.)?

No.

According to its domain, does the union potentially cover employees outside the live performance sector?

Yes.

General information on the union

 

Is the union engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Both forms apply

How many employees are covered by the sector-related collective agreement/s signed by the union within the live performance sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

90.01 – 1,250

90.02 – 50

90.03 – 175

90.04 – 25

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

How often do sector-related consultations occur?

On a regular basis (at least once a year)

Members

 

How many active members in employment does the organisation have in total (i.e. within the live performance sector and beyond)?

1,850, of which 120 pensioners

How many active members in employment does the organisation have within the live performance sector only?

1,500

Please indicate/ estimate whether the union’s density in terms of members within the live performance sector is higher than/ lower than/ (nearly) equal to its overall density. Please provide sources, if possible.

Lower than overall density

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the union affiliated?

FIM

To which European level organisations is the union affiliated?

EURO-MEI

To which national level organisations is the union affiliated?

CL Podkrepa

Source of information

Stefanka Hristova – Union President

2c Data on the employer associations

BAROK
Bulgarian Association of the Employers in Culture
Българска асоциация на работодателите в областта на културата

The employer organisation’s domain

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover, within the live performance sector, companies pursuing all types of the sub-activities, as follows?

 

1. Performing arts

Yes

2. Support activities to performing arts

Yes

3. Artistic creation

Yes

4. Operation of arts facilities

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover, within the live performance sector, all (legal) forms of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, etc.) (of course, only insofar as they exist in the sector)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover all size classes of enterprises within the live performance sector?

Yes

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

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies outside the live performance sector?

No, only in the live performance sector

General information on the organisation

 

Is the employer organisation engaged in sector-related collective bargaining?

Yes

If yes, what form of collective bargaining?

Both forms apply

How many companies are covered by the collective agreement/s signed by the employer organisation within the live performance sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

Only 81 companies are covered by CA

  • Theatre;
  • Music and dance;
  • Multicultural activities;
  • Cultural animation;
  • Audiovision;
  • Design

How many employees are covered by the sector-related collective agreement/s signed by the employer organisation within the live performance sector (including those covered via extension mechanisms)?

2,000

Please indicate the type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation being consulted by the authorities in sector-related matters?

Yes

Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

How often do sector-related consultations occur?

On a regular basis (at least once a year)

Members

 

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (i.e. within the live performance sector and beyond)?

81

How many employees work in these member companies in total (i.e. within the live performance sector and beyond)?

2,000

How many member companies does the employer organisation have within the live performance sector only?

44

  • Theatre;
  • Music and dance;
  • Museums, galleries and fine arts;
  • Animation.

How many employees work in these member companies within the live performance sector only?

2000

90.01 – 1,550

90.02 – 150

90.03 – 220

90.04 - 80

Please indicate/ estimate whether the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies within the live performance sector is higher than/ lower than/ (nearly) equal to its overall density. Please provide sources, if possible.

Lower than overall density

Please indicate/ estimate whether the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies within the live performance sector is higher than/ lower than/ (nearly) equal to its overall density. Please provide sources, if possible.

Lower than overall density

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

-

To which European level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

PEARLE* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe)

To which national level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)

Source of information

Momchil Guergiev

www.barok-bg.org

3. Inter-associational relationships

3a Inter-union relationships

3a.1 Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap within the sector.

Union of Bulgarian Musician and Dancers at CITUB;

Federation ‘Cultura’ to the CL Podkrepa

3a.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the trade unions within the sector, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No

3a.3 If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights?

N.a.

3b Inter-employer association relationships

3b.1 Please list all employer associations covered by this study whose domains overlap within the sector.

Bulgarian Association of the Employers in Culture (BAEC)

3b.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the employer associations within the sector, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No. Rivalries and competition do not exist among the employer associations. There is only one employer organisation.

3b.3 If yes, are certain employer associations excluded from these rights?

N.a.

3b.4 Are there large companies or employer associations within the sector which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No.

4. The system of collective bargaining

4.1. Estimate the sector’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 sector).

The percentage of the total number of employees in the sector covered by the CA is 49.61%.

Uniqueness or so called absolute diversity of the artistic product is the condition for flexibility of the employment in the sector. Therefore, the labour market here is much more unstable (especially in the private sector). Temporary employment contracts and project-based activities in several places create a dynamic environment, far away from the atmosphere of the classical market.

In the sector employees who work under an employment contract are:

90.01 – 6,371

90.02 – 652

90.03 – 366

90.04 – 437

Total for the sector: 7,826

According to preliminary data from NSI, the employees with a labour contract in 2010 were 2,190,000. The percentage of employees in the sector to the total number employed is 0.36%.

90.01 – 2,662

90.02 – 341

90.03 – 646

90.04 – 234

4.2. Estimate the relative importance of multi-employer agreements and of single-employer agreements as a percentage of the total number of employees covered. (Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employer association on behalf of the employer side. In the case of single-employer bargaining, it is the company or its subunit(s) which is the party to the agreement. This includes the cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement.)

The collective agreement is signed by both trade union organisations – CITUB and CL Podkrepa – and by the only employers’ organisation BAROK.

4.2.1. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations?

There is no practice of extending multi-employer agreements.

4.2.2. If there is a practice of extending collective agreements, is this practice pervasive or rather limited and exceptional?

The practice of extending collective agreements is pervasive. In the sector 50% of the employed which are not members of the trade union organisations joined CA.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2011 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, type and number of employees and territory covered.

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

Sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial Number of employees covered

BAROK at CITUB Federation Culture to CL Podkrepa

All cultural institutions in the sector

All employed and trade union members

All country

3,400

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2011 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, type and number of employees and territory covered. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered
Bargaining parties Purview of the agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial Number of employees covered

BAROK, UBMD at CITUB Federation,

Culture at LC Podkrepa

Branch Music and Dance

Employed from all cultural institutions

All country

Only trade union members – 2,500

5. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

5.1. Are the sector’s employer associations and trade unions usually consulted by the authorities in sector-specific matters? If yes, which associations?

Government, specifically the Ministry of Culture is consulted by trade unions and employers on the following issues:

  • Matters of labour relations, social security relations and employment in the industry.
  • Concluding the collective agreements with trade unions in various cultural institutions within five months of the signing of collective agreements at national level.
  • The signed collective agreement present binding minimum basis for negotiation and signing of collective agreements at municipal level.
  • The parties to the CA/trade unions and employers should be involved in the preparation of the Competition Ordinance for directors, the criteria for competitions and appraisal mechanism during their mandate.

5.2. Do tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues exist? If yes, please indicate their domain of activity (for instance, health and safety, equal opportunities, labour market, social security and pensions etc.), their origin (agreement/statutory) and the interest organisations having representatives in them:

Sector-specific public policies*
Name of the body and scope of activity Bipartite/tripartite Origin: agreement/statutory Trade unions having representatives (reps) Employer associations having reps.

MC, BAROC and UBMD, Federation Culture – legislation according Labour Code

tripartite

agreement

Only for trade union members

BAROC

* Sector-specific policies specifically target and affect the sector under consideration.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6a Statutory regulations of representativeness for trade unions

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

According to article 51 of the Labour Code and under current regulations in the European legislation, CA extends only to members of trade unions. In Bulgaria these are: Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers to CITUB, Federation Culture to the CL Podkrepa, as only two are the nationally representative trade unions in Bulgaria (CITUB and CL Podkrepa under the Labour Code).

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

Statutory regulations exist and they establish criteria of representativeness which a union must meet.

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

There is no works council in the sector. There is no other representational body established as criteria for trade union representativeness.

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? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Statutory regulations exist and they establish criteria of representativeness which an employers’ organisations must meet.

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? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Statutory regulations exist in the Labour Code and they 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

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

No.

7. Commentary

Collective bargaining is an essential tool for social peace and prosperity in the well-being of the employees in the sector Music and Dance. It is closely related to social and political relations and is based on the economic situation in the world, Europe and the country. In line with this, participants in the tripartite dialogue in the sector worked out the basic principles related to the implementation of the objectives of cultural policy, namely:

  • Moving towards the standards of European cultural institutions;
  • Increasing social and creative performance in the institutions;
  • Expanding the scope of social cultural activities;
  • Intensifying the dialogue with the regions, municipalities and other cultural and educational institutions, NGOs;
  • Implementing the Bulgarian musical culture in the European Union;
  • Organising work and creative processes – social security rules, individual contracts, salary system, free and full-time artists;
  • Developing the role of social dialogue, updating the relationship between employer and employee.

With the current government the social dialogue in the field is restored and agreed between the three parties – Ministry of Culture, trade unions and employers.

Violeta Zlateva, ISTUR

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