The Slovenia Times

Social Pact Signed in July?



They now hope to finalise the agreement in July. The Economic and Social Council, which brings together representatives of the government, trade unions and employers, agreed how work on the formation of the agreement would proceed.
The work will be organised in seven sub-groups. The first evaluation of their achievements will be made in about a month when it should become clear whether agreement in July is feasible, Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, Andrej Vizjak, said. He did not think the original 20 June deadline was feasible but said he was not concerned by the delay because, in the meantime, the Omnibus Act on the balancing of public finances had already been adopted.
The plan was for agreement to be reached before the austerity act freezing public sector pay, pensions and social transfers expires at the end of June. By then the Omnibus Act, which introduces cuts to public sector pay, social benefits and a freeze on pensions, should take effect but only if police trade unions withdraw their demand for a referendum. Guidelines for the social pact were also signed by the trade union groups that failed to sign them on 3 April because of their rejection of the government austerity measures that had, in the meantime, been toned down.
Since it took more than a month and a half to hammer out a deal on the Act, Head of the KSJS Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, Branimir Ċ trukelj, proposed the time allowed to reach the social pact be extended to the autumn.Vizjak expects tough negotiations in all areas, especially labour law, pension reform, social policies, public finances, sustainable development, a competitive economy and education. The unions disagree with the way the government understands labour market flexibility, Head of the Pergam Confederation of Trade Unions, Janez Posedi, said, adding they oppose flexible lay off and hiring. Ċ trukelj meanwhile expressed his expectation that the social pact would also contain concrete things such as the amount of state funding for higher education and science and what happens to referendum law.


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