Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Education sector – Poland

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 28 July 2011



About
Country:
Poland
Author:
Piotr Sula
Institution:

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the education sector in Poland. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.

1. Sectoral properties

Table 1: Profile of education sector
  1996 First Quarter 2008
Aggregate employment* 911,000 1,201,000
Male employment* 239100*** 286,000
Female employment* 663700*** 916,000
Aggregate employees No data 1,177,000
Male employees No data 277,000
Female employees No data 900,000
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy 5.4% 7.7%
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy No data 9.9%

Notes: * Employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers. ** Or most recent data. *** Not including institutions employing fewer than five people.

Source: Calculations based on the data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS); LFS results (in Polish, 403Kb PDF) and the GUS 1997 Yearbook.

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer organisations:

1. Trade unions which are party to sector-related collective regulation.

2. Trade unions which are a member of a sector-related European trade union federation, namely the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) and European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU).

3. Employer organisations which are a party to sector-related collective regulation.

4. Sector-related employer organisations (business associations) which are a member of the sector-related European employer federation, namely the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) which is a member of the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP).

2a Data on the trade unions

This section presents data on the following trade unions:

  • Education Section of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity (NSZZ Solidarność);
  • Science Section of NSZZ Solidarność, part of the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ);
  • Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP), part of OPZZ;
  • Polish Academy of Sciences Trade Union (Związek Zawodowy Pracowników Polska Akademia Nauk);
  • Education section of the Free Trade Union Solidarity (WZZ Solidarność-Oświata), part of the Forum of Trade Unions (FZZ).

2a.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Voluntary.

2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. white-collar workers, public-sector workers, employees of the education sector, etc.)

The trade unions gather only employees of the education sector, although the bigger structures under which they are federated such as NSZZ Solidarność, OPZZ, or FZZ involve employees of all sectors of economy.

2a.3 Number of trade union members (i.e. the total number of members of the trade union as a whole)

According to the survey of trade union membership 2003–2008 (TN0904019S), the number of trade union members in Poland is 1,775,892. A poll by the Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS) in December 2008 showed that 6% of Polish society belonged to the trade unions, which is par to 16% of contractual employees. Given that the number of all contractual employees in the fourth quarter of 2008 (as reported by GUS) was 12,447,000, the trade unions must have had some 1,991,520 members. in the whole economy.

2a.4 Number of trade union members in the sector

According to the data reported by the trade unions, the education sector has 470,000 employees who are trade union members.

Education Section of NSZZ Solidarność: 70,000

Science Section of NSZZ Solidarność: 23,000

ZNP: 190,658

2a.5 Female trade union members as a percentage of total trade union membership

According to the survey of trade union membership 2003–2008 (TN0904019S), women accounted for 59.2% of members in NSZZ Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

If there was a total of 1,775,892 trade union members in 2008, the domain density was 14.3%. But according to CBOS poll data the domain density was 16%. This number is correct if the education sector trade unions are considered as part of the representative trade union structures (NSZZ Solidarność, OPZZ, FZZ), which include representatives of all trades and occupational groups.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

39.1%

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the trade union domain

No data on trade union members representing particular subsections.

2a.9 Is the trade union involved in sector-related collective regulation? If yes, is it genuine collective bargaining, de facto negotiations or consultation?

The trade union organisations mentioned above operate within the structures of the representative trade union federations and are authorised to take part in consultations on the forum of the Trilateral Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and the Voivodeship Commissions of Social Dialogue, as well as consultations pertaining to the regulations of teachers’ remuneration with local authorities (poviats and gminas). They may also participate in creating sectoral collective bargaining agreements for administrative and service employees of schools (also with local authorities) and working regulations and the works social benefits fund at schools. In addition, the representative trade union organisations take part in the preparation of executive acts to the Teacher’s Charter (the supreme law that regulates the scope of rights and duties of teachers in public institutions of education), such as decrees regarding wages. Finally, the trade union organisations issue opinions about draft laws that affect education. The regulations about which the teachers’ trade unions are consulted are applicable only to public schools.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

The Education Section of NSZZ Solidarność is part of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity and a member of ETUCE and Education International (EI).

The Science Section of NSZZ Solidarność is part of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity. It is a member of ETUCE, Education International and Union Network International (UNI).

ZNP is a member of OPZZ, ETUCE and Education International.

The Polish Academy of Sciences Trade Union is a member of OPZZ.

The Education Section of the Free Trade Union Solidarity is a member of FZZ and CESI.

2b Data on the employer associations

The Polish Union of Private Employers in Education (PZPPE) is part of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan (PKPP Lewiatan), which is one of four employer associations that take part in the system of collective bargaining.

2b.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

No employer associations that are party to sector-related collective regulation.

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. state-owned units, universities, private adult training institutes, etc.)

2b.3 Number of member companies (i.e. the total number of members of the association as a whole)

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

Some 4,500 schools of various levels are represented by three organisations. There are no data on members in NACE 85.5 or 85.60, or the number of members in PZPPE.

2b.5 Number of employees working in member companies (i.e. the total number of the association as a whole)

No data.

2b.6 Number of employees working in member companies in the sector

No data.

2b.7 Domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in relation to the number of potential member companies as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

The following organisations do not have the status of representative employer organisations, but do play a significant role in shaping the education system in Poland:

  • All-Poland Association of Education Executives ( OSKKO) unites 3,876 headmasters of different educational institutions, inspectors, officers of the Education Board and teachers;
  • Conference of Heads of Polish Vocational Schools Presidents (KRZaSP) federates 210 schools of higher education, most of which are not public schools;
  • Conference of Heads of Polish Academic Schools (KRASP) gathers together the headmasters of 106 schools of higher education, including 11 non-public institutions;
  • PZPPE includes private schools of various types and level (elementary, higher education, psychology and pedagogy advice centres, language schools, etc.)

Domain density is approximately 13% (with the exclusion of NACE 85.5 and 85.60 for which there are no data).

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Approximately 13% (with the exclusion of NACE 85.5 and 85.60 for which there are no data).

2b.9 Sectoral domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

12.9%

2b.10 Domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in relation to the number of employees working in potential member companies, as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

No data.

2b.11 Sectoral density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

No data.

2b.12 Sectoral domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees working in companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

No data.

2b.13 Is the employer association involved in sector-related collective regulation? If yes, is it genuine collective bargaining, de facto negotiations or consultation?

The most prominent employer association is KRASP, which obtained legitimate authority based on the Higher Education Law Act of 2005. Its objective is to represent the interests of academic schools. The law permits KRASP to apply to the organs of public authority on important matters of higher education, science and culture, as well as to express its opinions and submit motions on matters concerning higher education, science and culture. The organs of public authority, on their part, are obliged to ask KRASP’s opinions on matters concerning the principles of operations and directions of development of higher education, scientific research system, training of academic teachers and scientific policies, as well as the material resources of higher education institutions, the higher education budget and draft legislation on matters of higher education, science and culture.

KRZaSP has similar authority and objectives.

PZPPE is member of PKPP Lewiatan, which enjoys the status of a representative employer association, meaning that it can take part in such events as the meetings of the Trilateral Commission for Social and Economic Affairs.

2b.14 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

KRASP is member of the European University Association (EUA).

PZPPE is member of PKPP Lewiatan.

3. Inter-associational relationships

3.1. Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap.

There is an overlap of the domains of the Education Section of NSZZ Solidarność, ZNP and the Education Section of the Free Trade Union Solidarity, as well as the domains of the Science Section of NSZZ Solidarność and The Polish Academy of Sciences Trade Union.

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

The trade unions compete solely for new members. All representative trade union organisations have guarantees to take part in the consultations with public authorities with respect to creating solutions in education.

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

The right to conclude collective bargaining agreements is guaranteed to representative trade union organisations.

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

There is no rivalry with respect to concluding collective agreements or consulting public authorities.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

The right to conclude collective bargaining agreements is guaranteed to representative employer associations.

3.7. Are there large companies or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No data.

4. The system of collective bargaining/regulation

4.1. Sector’s rate of collective regulation

The vast majority of employees of NACE sections from 85.20 to 85.42 are protected by law (specifically by the Teachers’ Charter and the Higher Education Act) or, in case of administrative and service employees, by collective agreements concluded on local levels with the local community authorities of the gmina and poviat administrative units.

4.2. Sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage

According to the estimates of the trade unions in some 10% of local authorities that manage educational institutions, the non-pedagogical staff (administrative and service) are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

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

Such situations would be exceptional, if they occurred.

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

Such situations would be exceptional, if they occurred.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* (genuine bargaining) valid in 2007 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered.

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

The issue of wages in education is regulated by the Teachers’ Charter and the Higher Education Act, as well as ordinances agreed upon by the representative trade union organisations and, in case of the higher education law, KRASP and KRZaSP.

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (genuine bargaining, single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2007 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

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?

All the aforementioned organisations take part in the consultations.

5.2. Do tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues exist?

The Trilateral Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and the Voivodeship Commissions of Social Dialogue are authorised to tackle the problems of the education sector. Representatives of these bodies may also take part in the alignments regarding legal regulations at the Ministry of National Education (MEN) and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW). They may also participate in the work of the Seym (parliament) committee of education, science and youth.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6.1. 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?

The representative organisations on the works level, according to the Polish Labour Code, are those trade unions that unite at least 10% of all employees within one enterprise or, in the case of individuals forming part of multi-establishment organisations, 7% of employees in the enterprise. In the education sector, representative unions have the right to negotiate with employers, that is, with communal authorities – the only organs responsible for the creation and management of public schools.

6.2. 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?

According to the Trilateral Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and the Voivodeship Commissions of Social Dialogue Act, representative trade union organisations are those nationwide trade unions, cross-country federations of trade unions and confederations of trade unions that unite at least 300,000 members. The representative trade unions organisations in Poland are NSZZ Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ. Consequently, the members of these organisations and the entities that belong to them have the status of representative trade union organisations. The organisations in question take part in the work of the Trilateral Commission.

6.3. Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness?

No, they are not.

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

For elementary, junior high and high schools the managing organ of authority is a local government (gmina authorities for elementary schools and poviat authorities for other types of schools). The managing organ is responsible for fixing the regulation amount of school teachers’ bonuses (seniority, motivation, performance and working conditions) on an annual basis. The regulation is agreed with the teachers’ trade unions.

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

According to the Trilateral Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and the Voivodeship Commissions of Social Dialogue Act, representative employer associations are those that unite institutions that employ more than 300,000 employees and operate nationwide.

In the case of public schools, the negotiating partner on employers’ side can not be an employer’s organisation, but only the Polish state or the communal authorities.

6.6. Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations?

No, they are not.

7. Commentary

The education sector is quite incoherent in terms of the scope of legal regulations as well as having specific subsections for group interests. All the organisations mentioned in the text concentrated their activity in a number of NACE subsections (85.20–85.42) and therefore the different statistics refer only to these subsections. PZPPE was the only trade union to report that its members included language schools, but it did not provide information on the number of its members.

Social partners participate regularly in the process of drawing up regulations at the ministerial level with regard to the functioning of schools and fixing teachers’ wages. Similarly, at the local authority level (gminas and poviats are the managing authorities for more than 90% of elementary, junior high and high schools), trade unions do take part in creating the regulations that define at least part of the remuneration, which is not regulated at the ministerial level, namely the bonuses for seniority, working conditions, motivation and performance.

In general, social partners participate actively in creating the institutional order in the area of schooling, although their engagement does not refer to all subsections of the education sector.

Piotr Sula, Institute of Public Affairs

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