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Social Partners Reach Umbrella Pact

Slovenia's social partners reached agreement on an umbrella social pact setting the course of industrial relations for 2015 and 2016. The document aims to provide stability and social peace.

Initialled by the social partners today, the document now needs to be endorsed by the government and relevant bodies of trade unions and employers. The signing is planned for 2 February.


Addressing reporters after the final round of talks, Labour Minister Anja Kopač Mraksaid reaching a deal had not been easy, taking 16 rounds of several hours of talks. Noting that Slovenia had been without a social pact since 2009, she said essence of the deal was "building trust" and "seeking compromise" for solutions to benefit everyone and the country as a whole.


Union and employer representatives agreed that it took concessions from all three partners to build a consensus on a total of 140 measures in what is only fifth social pact since Slovenia's independence. "You can never get everything you'd want to put in the pact, but this one reflects our expectations to a great deal," the boss of the ZSSS trade union confederation, Dušan Semolič, said.


Jože Smole, secretary general of the Employers' Association, meanwhile highlighted the government's commitment not to raise taxes and contributions over the next two years except in case of force majeure. "This means employers will be able to focus on doing business, developments in the markets, business goals," he said, hoping they would be bolder next time and agree a longer period for social pact.


Branko Meh, head of the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business, was happy priority treatment of employees' claims in insolvency procedures had been struck out as it would have been "fatal" for small creditors. Singing the document, the partners will pledge to provide a social market economy and a suitable level of social security and a fair distribution of burdens.


The main commitments are to ensure a new development breakthrough, reduce unemployment, deal with the crisis of values, boost competitiveness, economic democracy and internal consumer demand. They also pledge to enhance the effectiveness of the public sector, set up a system of long-term care and adjust the amount of minimum earnings or social transfers.