Employment, social affairs and health ministers are due to meet at the EPSCO Council on 14 June to discuss the draft directive on minimum wages and have a policy debate on “New Challenges for Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining”. In the lead up to the meeting the ETUC has been urging national affiliates to approach their governments to underline some key messages. First, is the need for European and national institutions to be active and fulfil their obligations and engagement to ensure the respect of the right to collective bargaining. The ETUC argues that any discussion on the promotion of collective bargaining and social dialogue at European and national level should be conducted with the full involvement of social partners, including in any follow-up to the exchange of views at EPSCO. The ETUC also wants to see action on public procurement with a key question for Member States on what steps they are taking to ensure that companies that respect the right of their workforce to collective bargaining are not disadvantaged by tendering rules. Other issues the ETUC wants to highlight are to guarantee access of all workers to collective rights is guaranteed and that the right to collective bargaining is the sole prerogative of trade unions and no initiatives should allow other non-representative organisations to represent and/or bargain on behalf of those workers concerned.
ETUC prepares for collective bargaining debate in Council
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(December 2016) Trade unions, employers and the government are in debate over the pattern of collective bargaining in the country. The EK employers' organisation is looking to sector bargaining while the government favours sector bargaining with a cap set by the pay increase negotiated in the export sector. Trade unions prefer sector bargaining in a national framework and are discussing the implications of possible new arrangements - particularly what the export sector gap would mean for the services sector and scope for negotiating higher increases for sectors dominated by women workers.