Free

Voluntarily

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Professionally

Activities

02. December 2022.

The Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes held the Second Interactive Training for Conciliators and Arbitrators in 2022. The training on "Labor disputes in practice" took place on December 2, 2022 at the “Serbia” Palace in the presence of a large number of conciliators and arbitrators.

The Agency Director, Dr. Ivica Lazović, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of continuously holding such events where conciliators and arbitrators have the opportunity to improve their knowledge, exchange experiences and gain new knowledge related to the current judicial practice.

Brankica Janković, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, presented the Commissioner's scope of work to the audience with a special focus on protection against discrimination, as an area we pursue together, but also highlighting the upcoming intensive cooperation. She emphasized that there was plenty of room for cooperation between the Agency and the Commissioner, referring to a project to be implemented next year in partnership between the German GIZ, International Labor Organization, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and the Agency. Jovan Protić, the ILO coordinator for Serbia, introduced the participants to the current activities of the International Labor Organization.

An inspiring lecture on the topic of preventing discrimination at work and related to work was held by prof. Dr. Ljubinka Kovačević from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade.

Dr. Marjana Trkulja, a psychiatrist from the "Dr. Dragomir Karajović" Institute of Occupational Medicine of Serbia, spoke about abuse at work, its recognition and prevention, as well as the consequences it leaves on individuals and the working environment in general.

A particularly interesting and useful part was an opportunity to learn about the current case law in the field of labor disputes, which was elaborated by Predrag Trifunović, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation and Dr. Bojan Božović, a judge of the High Court from Novi Sad. Prof. Dr. Živko Kulić, conciliator and arbitrator of the Agency since its foundation presented his experience in peaceful resolution of labor disputes to the participants.

30. November 2022.

Facilitated by the mediation of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, a joint recommendation on peaceful resolution of a collective labor dispute regarding the application of the special collective agreement for employees in primary, secondary and preschool institutions on the territory of the City of Novi Pazar was signed.

The procedure before the Agency was initiated upon the initiative of "Independence" GSPRS (Branch Union of Educators of Serbia) and in connection with the calculation and payment of compensation for the expenses for commuting to and from work for employees in primary, secondary schools and preschool institutions in accordance with the special collective agreements.

The City of Novi Pazar agreed to participate in the process of peaceful settlement of the labor dispute, and Mr. Nihat Biševac, the Mayor of the City of Novi Pazar, took an active role in the discussions. With their involvement and contribution, the representatives of the local self-government showed understanding for the dispute that arose and expressed their full commitment to resolving it peacefully.

Dejana Spasojević Ivančić, conciliator and arbitrator of the Agency, was the appointed acting conciliator. At the first hearing the Conciliation Board was set up, in accordance with the Law, and included, in addition to the conciliator, representatives of the parties to the dispute, Srđan Slović, the president of the "Nezavisnost" GSPRS for the union and Ulfeta Demčović for the city administration for the proper and delegated affairs of the City of Novi Pazar.

After three hearings, the parties to the dispute reached an agreement on the way to resolve the dispute, namely that the price of the commuting ticket will be determined based on the actual prices of public transport providers, depending on the zone, which are precisely determined at the City of Novi Pazar.

Based on the agreement reached, on November 30, 2022, the Recommendation on how to resolve the collective labor dispute was signed at the Agency premises, and the Agreement was initialed and forwarded to the Mayor of the City of Novi Pazar to sign it off.

Representatives of the "Nezavisnost" GSPRS and the City of Novi Pazar showed once again how the social dialogue between employees and employers is conducted properly, deciding on the procedure for peaceful resolution of the collective labor dispute, and in accordance with the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to settle these disputes by institutional mechanisms.

18. November 2022.

At the meeting entitled "Introduction of Benefits of Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes for Trade Union Representatives", which was held on November 18, 2022, the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes presented its work to the union representatives of all major unions with which the Agency cooperates.

The meeting was opened by Dr. Ivica Lazović, the Agency director, who thanked the attendees for recognizing the Agency as an institution they can turn to in order to exercise their rights, with the hope that these relations will intensify and that in the future an even greater number of labor disputes will be resolved before the Agency preferring it over the court. He pointed out the importance of informing trade union representatives about the services provided by the Agency and on that occasion pointed out that gatherings of this type should be held on an annual basis.

Dragana Andonovska, a senior adviser at the Agency, informed the audience about the history of the Agency, its competences and results of its work so far. Prominent conciliators and arbitrators of the Agency, prof. Dr. Živko Kulić and Dejana Spasojević Ivančić, spoke about examples from the practice of peaceful resolution of individual and collective labor disputes, pointing out the advantages of this concept and highlighting the obstacles they face in their work.

During the meeting, Certificates of Appreciation were presented to prominent representatives of trade union organizations who contributed to the recognition of the Agency as an institution before which labor disputes are resolved in a quick and efficient manner. Certificates of appreciation were presented to Rade Erceg, Violeta Gojković, Predrag Đurić, Dragomir Milošević and Radica Ilić.

At the end of the meeting, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

28. October 2022.

The collective labor dispute at the Niš Institute for Emergency Medicine in was resolved amicably through the Republic Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, on the occasion of concluding a collective agreement with the employer.

This procedure was initiated based on the proposal for the initiation of a procedure for the peaceful settlement of a collective labor dispute between the Union of the Niš Institute for Emergency Medical Services (SZZHMP), and the employer, i.e. the Niš Institute for Emergency Medical Services. Both parties agreed to resolve the dispute peacefully before the Agency.

Prof. Dr. Goran Obradović was appointed as the acting conciliator. He set up the Conciliation Board at the first hearing including representatives of the parties to the dispute and the acting conciliator. After three hearings, a joint recommendation was agreed suggesting the way to resolve the disputed issue. All parties to the proceedings unanimously adopted the proposed Agreement, after which the Dispute Resolution Agreement was signed. If the subject matter of the dispute is a collective agreement, the law stipulates that the agreement becomes the basis for concluding, amending and/or supplementing the collective agreement. If, however, the subject matter of the dispute is not a collective agreement, the agreement has the power of an enforceable document.

In this way, at the Niš Institute for Emergency Medical Services, the representatives of the employer and the trade union gave another example of how social dialogue can be successfully conducted, by opting for the procedure for the peaceful resolution of a collective labor dispute in accordance with the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia that labor disputes be resolved through institutional mechanisms.

28. October 2022.

With the help of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, the collective labor dispute at "Surčin" Public Enterprise was resolved by adopting the conciliator's recommendation, which was voted for by all the members of the Conciliation Board. The collective labor dispute, the subject matter of which is the right to union organization and action, was initiated at the proposal of the "Surčin" PE Free Trade Union.

At the first hearing and in accordance with the law Emila Spasojević, the acting conciliator, set up a Conciliation Board composed of the conciliator as the chairperson and representatives of all parties to the dispute. After two hearings, the parties to the dispute agreed on a joint recommendation, which was put to a vote and adopted. In accordance with the result of the vote, and upon the request of the parties to the dispute, the conciliator made a recommendation on how to resolve the collective labor dispute.

The employer and the trade union organization agreed to provide appropriate conditions for the trade union's activities, primarily technical and spatial as well as access to information necessary for trade union operations. They also agreed that all future disputes would be resolved peacefully and through social dialogue.

27. October 2022.

Referring to the case of a female employee of the Water Supply Public Utility Company (PUC) who believed she was exposed to mobbing, which attracted media attention [more on the link]((http://www.pink.rs/drustvo/429239/'smatram-da-sam-premestena-po-kazni'-samohrana-majka-tvrdi-da-je-bila-zrtva-mobinga-tri-posla-za-tri-meseca-smanjen-koeficijent-i-plata-ogla) it was yet again confirmed that the Agency is the right address for all who think they are victims of mobbing.

The female employee of this company filed a proposal for peaceful settlement of the labor dispute before the Agency believing that she was exposed to mobbing. Following provisions of the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes the Agency sent the proposal to the other party, the employer, i.e. the Water Supply PUC in Lazarevac, for consent. The employer agreed to resolve the case peacefully, in line with the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia given in Conclusion 05# 116-8060/2015 ("Official Gazette RS" Vol. 67/15), by which the public sector, i.e. all institutions and organizations financed from the budget are advised to resolve all collective and individual labor disputes through the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes.

After two hearings, the employer and employee showed a high level of responsibility to resolve all disputed issues, and agreement was reached on all points of dispute. It was concluded that individual legal documents of the employer governing the rights and obligations resulting from the labor relationship could not be used for the protection of rights relating to abuse at work, but that misunderstanding of several aspects was still present. All disputed issues were resolved in a constructive dialogue and intention to produce pleasant working atmosphere without disturbed interpersonal relationships. Eventually, the parties reached an agreement which was confirmed by arbitration decision.

In September of the current year another case of a female employee of a court who believed she was exposed to mobbing at the work was also resolved before the Agency. She filed her proposal to the Agency and the Agency forwarded it to the employer for consent. The employer agreed to have the case resolved peacefully before the Agency. Only one discussion was sufficient to resolve all disputed issues and bring the procedure to an end for the general good with mutual apologies and handshakes. After that, the acting arbitrator chairing the discussion concluded the procedure with consent of both parties.

The examples of our cases only illustrate and confirm that the Agency is the right address for all who believe to be exposed to mobbing. The procedures are a good alternative to the Law on Prevention of Abuse at the Work or lengthy judicial proceedings.

Resorting to the 2018 Amendments to the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes the Agency resolves the cases by making an effort to reconcile the parties and reach a mutually acceptable solution for behaviors and relationships that a person may experience as mobbing, or conflict or misunderstanding. In order to normalize relationships in the working environment, promote good working atmosphere, avoid lengthy court procedures and additional deterioration of relationship with the employer, the Agency resolves these procedures by reaching an agreement between the parties which is subsequently confirmed by a legally binding and enforceable arbitration decision. It is praiseworthy that an increasing number of employers and employees recognize advantages of this procedure and trust the Agency, contrary to lengthy court proceedings.

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