Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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BELARUSIAN CONGRESS
OF DEMOCRATIC TRADE UNIONS

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Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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>БКДП-ЧЛЕН МЕЖДУНАРОДНОЙ КОНФЕДЕРАЦИИ ПРОФСОЮЗОВ (МКП)

BKDP-Member of International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC)
   


BKDP DEVELOPS ITS OWN DRAFT OF GENERAL AGREEMENT FOR 2011-2013



September 24 BKDP Council at its meeting discussed its own Draft of General Agreement between Government, national associations of employers and trade unions for 2011-2013. The document was designed regarding proposals of all Congress affiliates. It was decided to adopt it as a basis for introducing amendments and later to forward it to social partners - Government, Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB) and employers’ organizations.


The validity of General Agreement (GA) in force expires in December 2010. No so much time left for developing a new GA. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection the Government has already drafted its version of the GA. The trade unions and the employers’ organizations are still in the process.

We recall that the BKDP representatives - Deputy Chairman Nicholai Kanakh and the Head of BKDP Legal Departrment Elena Eskova - are members of the Working group for developing new GA while BKDP leader Alexander Yaroshuk is a member of the conciliation commission.

Economy policy
- The BKDP proposals to the new draft of GA concern the simplification of tax system and fixing aggregate tax burden amounting up to 30% of the GDP.

- The independent trade union center proposes to ensure participation of the company workers and employees with attraction of their own investments in the privatization process as well as trade union representation in management bodies of transformed companies.

Payment of salaries and wages

- The BKDP suggests, first, to exclude the concept of "subsistence wage (survival level)" away from social norms and substitute it by the existing minimum consumer budget (MCB) of the same value;

- reduce the share of the population having incomes below the minimum consumer budget (MCB);

- revise composition and consumption norms of food products, consumer goods of medium-and long-term use in the structure of the MCB (consumer basket);

- bring gradually the cost of minimum consumer budget in compliance with the

established current level of prices:

stage I - 500-700 thousand rubles - in 2011;
stage II - 800-1 000 thousand rubles - in 2013;

- ensure average monthly wage at the end of 2011 for the whole country in the equivalent of 650-700 U.S. dollars and by the end of 2013 - 800-900 US dollars.

- establish by 2012 the minimum wage (floor level) at the level of minimum consumer budget;

- fix by 2012 the size of the first level tariff rate equal to the minimum wage;

Social protection, social guarantees and social insurance


- introduce a discount amounting from 20 to 70% of the cost of medicines for children, students, pensioners, disabled people;

- increase in 2011 – 2013 the volume of housing construction, develop and implement during 2011-2013 a set of measures to bring the cost of 1 sq. m of housing under construction to the amount equal to average monthly wage in the country;

- bring in 2011-2013 the size of the minimum old age pension if having 20 years of work record for women and 25 years for men to the level of the minimum consumer budget of a pensioner;

- ensure in 2011-2013 the guaranteed kinds of free medical services for the population of the country in line with expenditures amounting to no less than 9% of GDP (currently it is around 3%);

- provide a cash payment at a rate of 20% of the minimum consumer budget (now the figure is 5%) to nonresident students and other learners to compensate for the cost of renting if they could not be accommodated in the dorms;


- bring in 2011 the size of scholarships to the minimum consumer budget;

- increase gradually childcare allowance for children under age of three years and by 2012 bring the allowance to the level of the minimum consumer budget.

Development of labor market and employment policy

- According to BKDP the priority task is to bring the unemployment benefit in 2011 up to 70% of the minimum consumer budget (now the unemployment allowance is equal in the equivalent of nearly $ 16).

- In addition, BKDP proposes to introduce into the Law on Occupational Safety & Health a provision assuming additional payment on the part of the employer to the family of the deceased worker due to occupational accident of one-time lump-sum financial aid amounting to a number of annual incomes equal to a number of years left before retirement of the passed away worker, but not less than 10;and to the worker who has lost his or her work capacity as a result of an industrial accident – a lump sum material aid at the rate of one average monthly salary for every percent of his/her lost work capacity;


- The BKDP also believes that the country needs to develop and implement a national level program dealing with culture of “safety at work”. In the context of this program it is proposed to exclude completely the concept of "harmful working conditions".

Social dialogue

- In the field of social partnership the BKDP proposes to preserve legal status of currently existing trade unions in the companies and to ensure prolongation of standards of previously concluded collective agreements;

- ensure in 2011 the ratification of “Termination of Employment Convention № of the ILO;

- suppress any attempts of discrimination against workers for their union affiliation, draft amendments to the “Law on Trade Unions” and Criminal and Administrative Codes to bring officials to responsibility for infringement of the right of workers to affiliate to the unions on their own choosing;

- introduce appropriate amendments into the legislation regarding the abolition of compulsory short-term employment contracts in the first half of 2011 and their transformation at the workers will into a termless employment contract.

- make changes in the Law on Trade Unions in the first half of 2011, ensuring introduction of the declarative principle of the registration of trade unions and union organizations;

- ensure during the year of 2011 the implementation of recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry of the International Labor Organization (ILO);

- when setting up primary-level trade union organizations at enterprises of all forms of ownership provide them with the right to use the legal address of the enterprise for getting state registration.

- In the area of social protection, social guarantees and social insurance the BKDP proposes to exempt in 2012 from income tax the citizens whose incomes do not exceed the monthly-average size of MCB;

- set in 2011 the privilege transport costs for pensioners, students, school pupils and children (50% of the ticket cost for public urban, suburban and inter-city transports);



28.09.2010





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