Final project conference was held on 20th June 2013 at CCIS in Slovenia. Conclusions from the final project international conference are:
Post-Crisis Social Dialogue in the Construction Sector June 20, 2013: The CCIS hosted an international conference on social dialogue in the construction sector. Slovenian and foreign sectoral representatives of employers and employees discussed the situation in the construction industry in economically less developed countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Bulgaria. They also presented regulatory practices in the construction sector in economically more developed countries with a long tradition of different cooperation models between sectoral employers and employees which are so far unknown in Slovenia. In these western European countries, unlike Slovenia, paritarian funds have existed for many decades, and this form of cooperation between social partners has not only improved the positions of both companies and employees in the construction sector, but has also helped protect construction companies and retain jobs in the sector. Paritarian funds are an effective way of making the voices of sectoral social partners heard at the level of government administration.
Thus, the tradition of paritarian funds in western European countries means that the efforts of social partners are not only channeled into improving the position of companies and employees in the construction sector in participating countries, but also that this scheme represents an upgrade which dictates the tasks and role of competent state bodies, which is not yet the case in Slovenia.
Participating countries have determined that the existing legislation models based on frameworks set up in times of socialism must be upgraded and replaced with more effective solutions. In doing so, it is advisable to follow best practice examples in the sector from European countries with a more developed economic environment. Further, social dialogue in participating countries, i.e. Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Bulgaria, must include demographic trends and must be rationalized as much as possible in order to maximize the positive effects at minimum cost for both social partners. Importantly, social partners should insist that the state set up a regulatory framework, supports the idea of paritarian funds and gives social partners incentive to establish these funds.
During the one-year project Post-Crisis Social Dialogue in the Construction Sector (SODICO) directed by the Chamber of Construction and Building Materials Industry of Slovenia, partners from Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary were joined in their efforts by other European sectoral associations to determine the social partners' interest in and need for establishing paritarian funds in different areas (severance pay, vocational training, bad weather compensation).
All project partners concluded that paritarian funds are still not known enough among social partners, state institutions and political decision-makers. Partners are determined to stop the flagging power of representative bodies of social partners, employers' associations, chambers and trade unions in participating countries.
The actual possibilities of introducing paritarian funds in times of economic downturn in participating countries will be revealed by feasibility studies, concepts of economic implementation models, working visits to paritarian funds abroad, and familiarization with the management model. The stakeholders (social partners with the support from government officials) can take advantage of existing best practice examples in the EU and therefore avoid some of the obstacles encountered when paritarian funds were first introduced in Europe.
The idea of introducing a paritarian fund will have to be developed, and more promotion of paritarian funds in the construction industry is required. After all, this is the only way to ensure a solid foundation for introducing paritarian funds also in other sectors.
More on the project Post-Crisis Social Dialogue in the Construction Sector: sodico.gzs.si.
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Persons included in project SODICO activities:
Bernd Merz (BG BAU), Domenico Campogrande (FIEC), Valentina Smrkolj (GZS ZGIGM), Ioanis Parteniotis (FCIW PODKREPA), Jasenka Vukšić (SGH), Matthias Wohlgemuth (WKÖ Bau), Stilian Ivanov (BCC), Pete Zoltan (EVOSZ), Judit Albert (EVOSZ), Tatjana Gračić (HUP), Gyula Pallagi (EFEDOSZSZ), Ognyan Dimov (FCIW PODKREPA), Domagoj Ferdebar (SGH), Romana Josič (SDGD Slovenije), Oskar Komac (SDGD Slovenije), Jože Renar (GZS ZGIGM)
Chamber of Construction and Building Materials Industry
Dimičeva ulica 13
T: 01 58 98 242