RTK meeting: the general agreement is the main priority in the work of social partners

On September 18, a meeting of the Republican trilateral Commission on social partnership was held in Nur-Sultan under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov.

The main issues on the meeting’s agenda were measures to implement a Comprehensive plan to prevent social tension and resolve social and labor conflicts, a Roadmap to reduce industrial injuries and jobs with harmful working conditions for 2019-2023, and a General agreement between the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Republican associations of trade unions and Republican associations of employers for 2018-2020, and the development of a draft new General agreement for 2021-2023.

According to the Minister of labor and social protection of the population Birzhan Nurymbetov, within the framework of the labor risk map in September this year, monitoring covered 1.8 thousand problem enterprises with 285 thousand employees. Based on the Comprehensive plan to prevent social tension and resolve social and labor conflicts, the number of labor conflicts has been halved (2019-9 cases, 2020-4 cases).

“One of the most important tools for preventing labor conflicts is the collective agreement. As of 01.09.2020, 137,825 collective agreements were concluded in the Republic, the total coverage is 96%. Out of 267,384 operating enterprises, 129,041 enterprises have signed collective agreements, which covers 44.8%, “- the Minister said.

According to the head of the Ministry of labor, for 8 months of this year, 598 accidents occurred in the country, in which 912 people were injured. This is 7.5% more than in the corresponding period of 2019. 130 of them died. This is 37% more than in 2019.

In addition, according to the Minister, for 8 months of this year, state labor inspectors conducted 2568 inspections, which revealed 3760 (2019 — 8985) violations, including in the field of labor relations — 2734 (2019 — 7133); in the field of labor protection — 891 (in 2019 — 1675); in the field of employment — 135 (in 2019 — 177), employers issued 1436 orders and imposed 783 fines in the amount of 124.6 million tenge.

This year, the General agreement for 2018-2020 expires. “The current General agreement contributed to improving social and labor relations, is currently working on the development of the new General agreement on 2021-2023 aimed at solution of problems of protection of labor rights of workers, taking into account new conditions in the labour market”, the Minister said.

However, during the meeting, the Chairman of the Federation of trade unions of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin noted that the declarative nature of certain provisions does not allow fully implementing the planned activities and achieving certain results. “For example, technical consultations on the ratification of ILO Conventions No. 102″ on minimum standards of social security”, No. 131″ on setting the minimum wage”, and No. 184″ on occupational safety and health in agriculture “have not yet been held,” said Satybaldy Dauletalin.

Issues of remuneration, employment, job preservation, safe working conditions, and social partnership remain relevant and require more detailed consideration and implementation, taking into account the new challenges of time and work in the context of changing forms of labor and market transformation.

The Chairman of the FPRC said that in this regard, the Federation, together with the Republican associations of trade unions, developed a draft concept for a new General agreement, which defines common consolidated approaches and announced some provisions.

The remuneration

The head of the fprc noted that today the issue of wages remains particularly relevant for trade unions and proposed to increase the minimum wage with the establishment of a methodology for determining it, legislate wage indexation, review the size and content of the consumer basket, replace the basic official salary of public sector employees with the minimum wage, and ratify ILO conventions No. 131 “on setting the minimum wage”, No. 102 “on minimum standards of social security”, and No. 154 “on promoting collective bargaining”.

According to satybalda Dauletalin, social partners should address these issues in stages within the framework of trilateral consultations, taking into account new approaches, in order to avoid unbalancing the financial system.

Occupational safety and health

The Chairman of the FPRC noted that despite the fact that over the past three years there has been a certain tendency to reduce occupational injuries, it is impossible to avoid accidents at work.

In this regard, the new draft of the General agreement stipulates the need for trade unions to switch from the compensation model to professional risk management, and the need to create an Institute of professional appraisers to conduct job certification.

It is important to expand the powers of industrial councils for safety and labor protection in managing the enterprise (organization) and strengthening public control.

Social protection of employees

A number of FPRC proposals related to social protection of employees. Satybaldy of Dauletaly, in particular, suggested to provide early retirement of workers employed in heavy works, works with harmful and (or) dangerous labour conditions, to introduce a differentiated approach to the payment of sick leave for temporary disability, that is, depending on the seniority of the employee in the enterprise and increase the size of the subrogation payment for damage to health of the worker in proportion to the average wage growth in the enterprise and to continue payments after the recipient of the retirement age.

Strengthening the institution of social partnership

The Chairman of the fprc voiced the idea of adopting the Law “on social partnership”, which will help to reform the institution of social partnership and improve the mechanism of social dialogue, removing it from the sphere of labor relations. He also proposed to strengthen the responsibility for non-compliance with collective agreements and agreements, to ensure the participation of domestic trade unions in the consideration of regulations concerning labor and socio-economic rights and legitimate interests of workers.

“We should review the format of meetings of the trilateral commissions, introducing the practice of co-chairing the parties and holding field meetings directly at enterprises, and in order to achieve more productive work of commissions at all levels, introduce the practice of hearing them at the RTC. To date,

the issue of participation of third parties in social partnership remains open, and in this regard, we call the unified platform of employers ‘ associations to identify specific representatives in the RTK a timely measure,” said Satybaldy Dauletalin.

Also, according to Satybaldy Dauletalin, the frequent change of Deputy mayors for social partnership in the regions hinders mobile decision – making on emerging issues. In this regard, he suggested that the management of social partnership issues should be entrusted to the regional governors.

At the end of his speech, Satybaldy Dauletalin thanked the Government and Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov for constructive interaction and prompt support of the FPRC’s proposals during the emergency and quarantine periods on social support for medical workers, additional payments to military doctors, post-covid health rehabilitation, and job preservation.

Summing up the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Yeraly Tugzhanov gave a number of instructions to the participants of the social partnership. In particular, he instructed to take all necessary measures for the qualitative development of the new General agreement for 2021-2023, and to send their proposals to the Ministry of labor and social protection of the population within two weeks. The Ministry of labor is tasked with submitting an agreed draft of the General agreement to the Government by November 1, 2020.

In addition, Yeraly Tugzhanov noted that the implementation of collective agreements will be under special control, and said that each of the officials should have a trade Union consciousness. He also called on the participants of the social partnership to intensify social dialogue and listen to the heads of large companies about social and labor relations.

“I instruct RTK participants to strengthen their interaction with trade unions,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Press service of the Federation of trade unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan