Activities

19. October 2018.

The Second Interactive Seminar for Conciliators and Arbitrators in 2018 on subject “Law amendments and labor disputes in practice” was held on October 19th 2018 in Belgrade in Palace “Serbia”.

The lecture on the topic “Practice of the Supreme Court of Cassation in the field of labor disputes” was delivered by the judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation in Belgrade Lidija Djukić. The topic of the second panel was dedicated to the peaceful resolution of labor disputes in the Republika Srpska, which was elaborated by Dr Borislav Radić, director of the Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes of Republika Srpska. The last panel of the Second Interactive Seminar of Conciliators and Arbitrators was dedicated to the novelties in the amendments to the Law on the Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, discussed by Dragana Andonovska and the mediation in abuse at work discussed by Olga Vučković Kićanović. Within the last panel, the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with examples from the practice of arbitrators and conciliators Milun Petković and Nataša Arsić Jelić.

The special importance of these seminars is the fact that the harmonization of practice reduces the citizens' uncertainty regarding the epilogue of initiated procedures for peaceful resolution of labor disputes before the Agency.

12. October 2018.

The second interactive seminar for conciliators and arbiters in 2018 on the subject "Changing Laws and Labour Disputes in Practice", planned within the Special Professional Training Program for Conciliators and Arbiters for this year, will be held on Friday, 19 October, 2018, at 9:30 am, at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade.

The seminar was organized with the aim of further professional development of conciliators and arbiters in the field of individual labour disputes.

After the registration of the participants and the introductory address by the Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, Mile Radivojević, the lecture on the topic "Practice of the Supreme Court of Cassation in the Field of Labour Disputes" will be held by the judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation in Belgrade Lidija Đukić. The topic of the second panel will be dedicated to the peaceful resolution of labour disputes in Republika Srpska, which will be discussed by Dr Borislav Radić, Director of the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes of Republika Srpska. The final panel of the Second Interactive Seminar of Conciliators and Arbiters will be dedicated to the amendments and supplements to the Law on the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes which will be discussed by Dragana Andonovska, while Olga Vučković Kićanović will be speaking about mediation in abuse at work. Within the last panel, the participants will also hear examples from arbiters and conciliators Milun Petković and Nataša Arsić Jelić.

These seminars are particularly important due to the fact that the harmonisation of practice reduces the citizens' uncertainty in the epilogue of procedures for peaceful resolution of labour disputes initiated before the Agency.

17. September 2018.

On Thursday, September 13th 2018, the Chamber of Italian-Serbian Businessmen organized a working breakfast attended by the Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Mr. Zoran Djordjević, H.E. Ambassador of Italy to Belgrade, Mr. Carlo Lo Cascio, President of the Chamber of Italian-Serbian Businessmen Giorgio Marchegiani, First Secretary of the Embassy Mr. Matthias Claivaz, Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes, Mile Radivojević, then members of the Minister’s team Bojana Stanić, Stevan Djurović, Marina Furtula and many others.

Following the welcoming speech of the Ambassador of Italy, the President of the Chamber of Italian - Serbian Businessmen Mr. Marchegiani, the audience was addressed by Minister Zoran Djordjević who presented the competencies of the Ministry and spoke about future plans regarding the amendments of the existing legal regulations.

Agency Director Mile Radivojević presented the scope of work of the Agency and the possible directions of cooperation, and through interactive discussion with representatives of companies, various issues and problems faced by workers and employers in everyday business were considered, in relation with the existing legal framework.

The whole event took place in a working atmosphere and an interactive discussion.

14. August 2018.

With assistance of the Republic Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, the Recommendation on the Peaceful Settlement of the Collective Labour Dispute at PUC "Parking Service Kragujevac" was signed on Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

The proposal for peaceful resolution of the collective labour dispute at PUC "Parking Service Kragujevac" was submitted by the Trade Union of Employees of PUC "Parking Service Kragujevac". The subject of the dispute was the application of the collective agreement with the employer. The other party to the dispute, the management of PUC "Parking Service Kragujevac" accepted to peacefully resolve this dispute.

Ružica Erceg was assigned for the acting conciliator. The conciliator formed the Conciliation Committee in accordance with the law which included one representative of each trade union and of the employer. After three deliberations of the Conciliation Committee, the dispute was concluded peacefully since the parties reached an agreement and signed the Recommendation on the Peaceful Settlement of the Collective Labour Dispute.

Representatives of the employer of PUC "Parking Service Kragujevac” and the Trade Union of Employees of PUC "Parking Service Kragujevac" conducted this proceeding in good faith and with intent to respect the objective business situation, thus demonstrating how to properly conduct the social dialogue between the employees and the employer.

06. July 2018.

The Annual Regional Conference of the Network of Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes Agencies organized by the International Labour Organization, with the support of the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, was held from July 4 to July 6 2018 in Arandjelovac.

The conference was attended by representatives of regional authorities for peaceful settlement of labour disputes: National Institute for Conciliation and Arbitration (Bulgaria), Directorate for Social Dialogue (Romania), Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes (Montenegro), Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes of the Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Association of Professional Mediators and Arbitrators in Labour Disputes (Republic of Macedonia), as well as the representatives and experts of the International Labour Organization, the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the " Employment and Social Affairs Platform" (ESAP) project.

In the course of several days, the policies of the participating countries in this field were presented, the experiences in the work of the national agencies for peaceful settlement of labour disputes and the more efficient involvement of mediators in the settlement of labour disputes were discussed in order to improve social dialogue, harmonize practices and reduce the burden of courts. Also, the ESAP database of case studies from participating countries was presented, which aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences and improvement of skills and knowledge of conciliators and arbiters in labour disputes.

Also, the situation in the field of peaceful settlement of labour disputes in the Republic of Serbia, the normative framework for the operation of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes were assessed, and the achieved results and observed problems in practice were presented. Particular importance was given to the role of social dialogue, i.e. the role of representative social partners in creating and implementing the policy of peaceful settlement of labour disputes.

On the last day of the conference, Mr Scot Beckenbaugh, the Deputy Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service gave a lecture attended by the conciliators and arbiters of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes. The guest from the United States informed the participants about the history, organization and the work method of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and presented several case studies.

At the end of the conference, commendation plaques for the organisation of the conference and promotion of the institution of peaceful settlement of labour disputes were awarded to Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Susanne Nielsen, Chief Technical Adviser of the ESAP project, Cristina Mihes, Senior Advisor for Social Dialogue in the International Labour Organization and to the Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy Zoran Djordjevic.

In his address to the participants, Minister Djordjevic said that the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes has a leading role in the process of harmonization of the employees - employer - state relation as the only specialized institution for labour legal disputes and as such has the full support from the Ministry and the Prime Minister Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabic.

The Minister thanked the conciliators and arbitrators for previous successful work and the efforts they invest in the affirmation and visibility of the institute of peaceful settlement of disputes.

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03. July 2018.

On Tuesday, July 3rd, the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes was pleased to host Mr. Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The occasion for this meeting is Mr. Beckenbaugh’s participation at the annual Regional Conference of the Network of Labor Dispute Agencies, which will take place this week in Aranđelovac. Mr. Beckenbaugh visited the Agency with Dejan Gajić from the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and Jovan Protić, National Coordinator at the International Labor Organization.

During the cordial and friendly two-hour discussion the participants exchanged experiences and examples of good practice. The attending guests had the opportunity to get familiarized with the Agency’s method of operation and organization. Mr. Beckenbaugh expressed particular interest in the legislative solutions which regulated the Agency’s operation. Mile Radivojević, Agency Director, stated that that was the first official meeting of the representatives of those two Agencies and as such was quite significant for the further development of collaboration and promotion of alternative forms of resolving labor disputes in the Republic of Serbia.

The collocutors concluded that today’s meeting should represent merely a beginning of stronger connections and more profound relations between the two Agencies.

02. July 2018.

At the 8th extraordinary session held on Thursday, June 28, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Bill on Amendments to the Law on Peaceful Labor Dispute Resolution.

The Amendments to the Law significantly expanded the scope of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes in accordance with its acquired experiences and practices.

The competence for individual labor disputes was also expanded to include the disputes arising from: payment of salaries/wages, allowance of salaries/wages in accordance with the law, payment of severance pays during retirement, working hours and exercising rights to annual leave.

According to the Amendments to the Law, a collective labor dispute,inter alia, is a dispute arising from: exercising rights to the establishment of union representativeness at the employer, as well as a dispute arising from minimum work process in accordance with the law. The complemented provisions of the Law stipulate that the parties to a dispute related to a public interest activity shall tend to peacefully solve the collective dispute in these cases.

The dispute resolution agreement may be concluded based on a recommendation or regardless of it. It was specified that, in case the dispute parties concluded the agreement, such agreement should become a basis for the conclusion of amendments to the collective agreement, or it should have an effect of an executive deed.

By means of the Amendments to the Law the previous 3-day deadline is extended to 5 days to allow the other party to declare wether they wish to participate in the proceedings.

The expert witness testimony is a significant novelty of the Law, so the dispute parties would be able to hire an expert witness if they wish to. Unlike the services of the arbitrator and conciliator, which are free of charge for the dispute parties, the expert witness hiring costs shall be borne by each dispute party.

The Amendments to the Law introduced a code of ethics for conciliators and arbitrators in the proceedings of peaceful labor dispute resolution. The code of ethics shall be enacted by the minister in charge of the labor affairs.

05. June 2018.

The annual Regional Conference of the network of labor dispute agencies, organized by the International Labor Organization and supported by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, will be held from July 3 to July 6, 2018 in „Izvor“ Hotel in Aranđelovac. This Conference is funded by the Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP) implemented by the Regional Cooperation Council of the European Commission and International Labor Organization.

The annual Regional Conference of the labor dispute agencies is the most significant event in this field this year and represents a continuation of the regional cooperation between the signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding for Collaboration on Labor Dispute Prevention and Resolution. The annual Regional Conference will be attended by the representatives of the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes of RepublikaSrpska (Bosnia & Herzegovina), National Institute for Conciliation and Arbitration (Bulgaria), Agency for Amicable Settlement of Labor Disputes (Montenegro), Association of Conciliators and Arbitrators in Labor Disputes (Republic of Macedonia), Social Dialog Directorate (Romania), Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth (Albania), as well as the delegates of the representative social partners from the region, ILO’s and project experts.

The Conference will feature Mr. Scot Beckenbaugh as a special guest from the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. On July 6 he will deliver a lecture to be attended by the conciliators and arbitrators of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes. This will be the first time a high-ranking official of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service visits the region by attending the Conferences of this sort, and he is extremely important in terms of exchanging experiences, since the USA was the first to develop the concept of peaceful labor dispute resolution.

Particular significance of this Conference reflects in the fact that this event will gather experts from the entire region and create conditions for closer collaboration, thereby enabling the experts to directly exchange their respective experiences, information and examples of good practice.

11. May 2018.

The first interactive seminar for mediators and arbitrators in 2018, titled “Individual Labor Disputes in Practice,” planned within the Professional Training Program for Mediators and Arbitrators for this year was held on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 9:30 AM at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade.

The seminar was organized with the goal of further professional development of mediators and arbitrators in the field of individual labor disputes.

After the registration of participants and introductory speeches of Brankica Janković, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and Dr Stana Božović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, as well as the Director of the National Agency for the Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes, Mile Radivojević, a lecture titled “Practice of the Supreme Court of Cassation in the Field of Labor Disputes” was held by a judge of the Supreme Cassation Court in Belgrade, Predrag Trifunović. The topic of the second panel discussion dealt with the practice in the work of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality in the field of labor discrimination and related to labor, which was presented  by Tijana Milošević, an employee of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality. The last panel discussion of the first interactive seminar for mediators and arbitrators was dedicated to a very prominent current topic titled “Recent developments in the Draft Law on Strike” which was presented  by Prof Dr Živko Kulić, member of the working group on drafting the Law on Strike.

The fact that harmonizing the practice reduces the uncertainty of citizens in terms of ongoing processes of peaceful resolution of labor disputes in front of the Agency is of particular importance.

26. April 2018.

With assistance of the National Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes, the Agreement on Peaceful Resolutions of a Collective Labor Dispute was signed on April 23, 2018. The Agreement was signed on the occasion of entering into force of the collective agreement within the Public Media Institution Radio Television of Vojvodina.

The Agreement was signed by the General Director, Dr. Miodrag Koprivica on behalf of the employer and 4 unions: Professional RTV Union, Independent RTV Union, Union of Journalists of Serbia, and United Trade Union Nezavisnost. Recommendations of the Committee for Resolutions have thus been accepted by being included in the Agreement. These are the following: that bases for collective negotiations are created regarding earnings, elements of earnings and other income, that an Agreement on Processing the Payments from the Collective Contract be made, and that a parity committee be formed within 30 days in order to re-examine the earnings coefficient. This committee would include representatives of representative unions and the employer.

Prof. Dr. Senad Jasarevic was names as the Acting Mediator, while the representatives of the employer and unions once again had confirmed in practical terms advantages of a social dialogue between employees and the employer.

18. April 2018.

With assistance of the National Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes, the Recommendation on Peaceful Resolution of the Collective Labor Dispute at the CARNEX LTD Meat Industries was signed on April 18, 2018.

The Nezavisnost Union and the Independent Union at the Carnex LTD Meat Industries from Vrbas had begun a collective labor dispute regarding the finalization of the collective labor contract. The unions had filed the Initiative for Negotiations on Concluding the Collective Labor Contract to the employer, to which they had not received a response within the defined time frame. They therefore decided to file the Proposal for Initiating the Process of Peaceful Resolution of a Labor Dispute. The Agency had received a positive response from the Carnex LTD leadership for the labor dispute to be solved in peaceful manners. Dejana Spasojevic Ivancic was appointed as the Acting Mediator.

The Committee for Reconciliation was formed at the first session, in accordance with the Law. Upon the discussion, a Recommendation on Means of Solving the Collective Labor Dispute was adopted. A new collective labor contract is to be concluded which will have the same contents as does the currently valid one. This contract is to be concluded for a period of two years, while the new collective labor contract is to be signed no later than April 26, 2018.

Representatives of the Nezavisnost Union of Carnex Vrbas, Independent Union of Carnex Vrbas, and the management of Carnex LTD Meat Industries had once again shown how a social dialogue is held between employees and the employer by choosing to undergo the process of peaceful resolution of a collective labor dispute.

30. March 2018.

The National Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes held a roundtable on March 30, 2018, upon invitation by the Federation of Independent Unions of

Belgrade. The roundtable was held on premises of the Federation of Independent Unions of Belgrade, while the main goal was to familiarize the union leadership with the institution of peaceful resolution of labor disputes.

Dragan Todorovic, Vice President of the Council of Federation of Independent Unions (CFIU) of Belgrade and Dusko Vukovic, Vice President of the CFIU of Serbia spoke on their experiences in the area of peaceful resolutions of labor disputes from the union standpoint.

Mile Radivojevic, Director of the National Agency for Peaceful Resolutions of Labor Disputes and Ivica Lazovic, Deputy Director of the same Agency both spoke about the role and importance of the Agency. Dragana Andonovska, an employee of the Agency spoke about amendments to the Law on Peaceful Resolutions of Labor Disputes.

A promotional film about the Agency was shown at the event. The film may be accessed online at www.mrrs.rs

19. December 2017.

Owing to the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, an Agreement on PeacefulSettlement of Collective Labour dispute was signed in the Health Centre in Gornji Milanovac on 30November 2017. The issue was resolved within 5 days, after only two meetings of the ConciliationCommittee.

The collective labour dispute over the application of the Special Collective Agreement was initiated by theTrade Union of Health and Social Care ‘Sloga’, in the Health Centre in Gornji Milanovac The subject of thedispute involved the work conditions of the Union, rights of the trade Union representatives and rights of theemployees in the Health Centre Gornji Milanovac.

After the second meeting of the Conciliation Committee, Dragana Miletić, the acting Agent of the Agency,helped in reaching the agreement between the parties of the dispute, and it was concluded peacefully. TheActing Director of the Health Centre-Gornji Milanovac Aleksandar Čivovic, and the president of the TradeUnions ’Sloga’ Divna Simovic Šijakovic, signed the Agreement on the Peaceful Settlement of the CollectiveLabour Dispute.

Representatives of the employer of the Health Centre in Gornji MIlanovac and the Trade Union of Healthand Social Care ‘Sloga’ showed how the social dialogue between the employees and the employer is to beheld in the proper way, deciding on the procedure for peaceful settlement of the collective labour dispute,and in accordance with the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to resolve suchdisputes through institutional mechanisms.

13. December 2017.

At the closing conference of the project ’Social partners together to increase the visibility of extra-judicial protection of labour rights - peaceful settlement of labour disputes’, held on 7 December 2017 in Belgrade in the hotel ‘Serbia’, the results of this project were presented. It was realized by the Citizens Association the Initiative for Development and Cooperation, with the financial support of Solidar Suisse/Swiss Labour Assistance (SLA) - Office in Serbia, and in partnership with the United Trade Unions ‘NEZAVISNOST’, the Association of Independent Trade Unions of Serbia, the Union of Employers of Serbia and supported by the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes.

In addition to presenting the results of the project, the aim of the conference was to emphasize the significance of the institute of peaceful settlement of labour disputes and its advantages in contrast to court settlement of disputes and the importance of amendments to the Law on the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes.

Representatives of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes held several workshops during this project in 2017, aiming to bring the procedure before the Agency closer to employees and employers, through the presentation of the Agency's work and simulation of the procedure for peaceful settlement of labour disputes. In this way, the social partners gained insight into the process of peaceful settlement of labour disputes and its practical advantages. The workshops were held in Vrsac on October 6, Kragujevac on October 20, Kraljevo on November 3 and Uzice on November 17, 2017.

‘Online’ course for employers was presented at the conference and it can be seen on the following link: www.mrrs.rs. The aim of this course is to get acquainted with the settlement of disputes before the Agency through a short video presentation. After the presentation, a short On-line test can be done in order to check the acquired knowledge through this course.

The smartphone application was also presented, aimed to make the exchange of information for all interested parties easier, for citizens through the possibility of asking questions and initiating the procedure through a mobile phone, but also for conciliators and arbitrators through an expert forum in order to unify the practice. The application will be available for download from the "Google Play Store" and "App Store" by the end of the year.

A Handbook on good practices in peaceful settlement of labour disputes was presented, showing the practice and experience in peaceful settlement of individual and collective labour disputes through the experiences of social partners, the Agency and especially through the practical experience of conciliators and arbiters.

The Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour disputes, Mile Radivojević, opened the conference. Miodrag Nedeljković, Executive Director of IDC, Olivera Stepanović from Solidar Suisse/Swiss Labour Assistance (SLA), Nebojša Atanacković, President of the Employers' Union of Serbia, Duško Vuković, vice president of the SSSS Council and Dejan Titović, member of IO UGS ‘Nezavisnost’ also spoke about the results of the project.

24. November 2017.

Owing to the mediation of the Republic Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, the Conciliation Committee, chaired by the conciliator of the Agency, Docent Dr Bojan Urdarević, reached the contents of the Recommendation on the manner of resolving the collective labour dispute in the PE PTT Service ’Serbia’, which made  the reasons for the start of the strike scheduled for 20 November no longer valid.

Two representative trade unions, Trade Unions PTT of Serbia and the Union PE PTT Service ‘Serbia’ Nezavisnost, made a decision to go on strike, which was announced for 20 November 2017.

The aforementioned unions initiated the procedure before the Agency simultaneously, and the employer agreed that the dispute should be resolved peacefully. The parties also agreed on the selection of conciliators. After the first hearing on which a high degree of understanding and tolerance was achieved, there was a Recommendation on the manner of resolving a collective labour dispute which made the reasons for the start of the strike no longer valid.

Representatives of the Trade Union of the PTT Serbia and Trade Union ’Nezavisnost’ of the PE PTT Service ’Serbia’, as well as the management of PE PTT Service ’Serbia’, have showed how to properly lead the social dialogue between employees and employers, opting for a process of peaceful settlement of the collective labour dispute, and in accordance with the recommendation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to resolve these disputes through institutional mechanisms.

07. November 2017.

On 24 October 2017, the Union “Nezavisnost” of “Gumoplastika” Ltd Bujanovac made a Decision to go on strike on 31 October 2017. The same Decision stipulated the following strike requests: to annul the decisions on workplace change for two employees, to pay employees’ outstanding salaries and outstanding travelling expenses, to provide heating in the production facility, and to include the Trust of the trade union into the privatization process and the social program.On 31 October 2017, the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes contacted the parties in dispute, which accepted to initiate the procedure of peaceful settlement of collective labour dispute before the Agency. The acting conciliator was prof. dr. Živko Kulić. After the contact with the parties of the dispute, the conciliator scheduled the first hearing for Monday, 6 November 2017, on the premises of the employer.At the first hearing, a Conciliation Committee was formed in accordance with the Law. It included conciliator prof. dr Živko Kulić, the Union representative Slavoljub Ristić and representative of the employer Dejan Stojanović. After the discussion, the Recommendation on the manner of resolving the collective labour dispute was adopted. The Agreement between the trade unions and the employer regarding the manner of resolving the collective labour dispute was concluded on the same day.The aforementioned Agreement covered all strike requests, and the strike was suspended after the successful conciliation and a compromise on 6 November 2017. The employees continued their work the first following workday.

03. November 2017.

On 2 November 2017 in Podgorica, at the Subregional Conference of the International Labour Organization for Professional Conciliators in the Region, a Memorandum of Understanding for Collaboration on Labour Dispute Prevention and Resolution was signed between the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes of the Republika Srpska – Bosnia and Herzegovina, the National Institute for the Conciliation and Arbitration of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Macedonia, the Association of Professional Mediators and Arbitrators in Labour Disputes of the Republic of Macedonia, the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes of Montenegro, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth of the Republic of Albania, the Ministry of Public Consultation and Social Dialogue, the Directorate for Social Dialogue in Romania and the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes of the Republic of Serbia.The mentioned Memorandum was signed for the purpose of improving professional development and cooperation among the parties responsible for the effective prevention and settlement of labour disputes and in order to establish the conditions under which the parties will further agree on cooperation.The key forms of cooperation, regulated by the Memorandum of Cooperation, include the exchange of information, documentation and publications on issues related to the prevention and settlement of labour disputes, bilateral or mutilateral engagement in capacity building, raising of awareness and training activities on issues that refer to the prevention and resolution of labour disputes, as well as the exchange of knowledge, good practice, experience and experts in relevant subjects.The Memorandum is expected to come into force at the time of signing thereof by all responsible parties and will last until the termination in accordance with the terms and conditions contained in the Memorandum.

31. October 2017.

On 26 October 2017, the Government of the Republic of Serbia, based on the proposal of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, adopted the Conclusion, recommending the possibility of participation of conciliators in collective negotiation when concluding collective agreements in accordance with the law regulating the field of peaceful settlement of labour disputes. The Recommendation refers to statutory authorities, the autonomous province and local self-government units, other authorities and organizations established by the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous province or a local self-government unit, public agencies and organizations subject to the regulations on public agencies, public services financed from the budget of the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous province and the local self-government units, i.e. from contributions for compulsory social insurance, as well as public enterprises and for-profit corporations founded by the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous province or the local self-government unit and the for-profit corportions whose founder is a public company.Also, the Government recommended that the authorized representatives of the aforementioned institutions inform their representatives in collective negotiation about the possibility of entering a clause into collective agreements to resolve labour disputes in accordance with the law regulating the field of peaceful settlement of labour disputes.The main reason for drawing this conclusion is the need to refer the recommendation to state authorities, to use the possibility of the participation of conciliators in collective negotiation when concluding collective agreements in accordance with the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, which would result in savings of budget funds by preventing collective labour disputes and reducing the number of these disputes before the courts.A large number of collective agreements were concluded for three years in the period from July 2014 to January 2015. The agreement period is currently expiring, and collective negotiations are and will be conducted with the aim of concluding collective agreements with a new period of validity.The Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes pursuant to Article 16 of the Law on the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes may provide participation of a conciliator in collective negotiating, which participates in the proces of negotiating, indicates to participants proposals that are not in accordance with the law and other regulations and provides participants with professional and other assistance, which contributes to the quality of the text of collective agreements. Also, collective agreements contain provisions on ways of resolving labour disputes, where it often happens that the possibility of settling labour disputes in accordance with the law regulating the field of peaceful settlement of disputes is not recognized and consequently arranged, which often results in expensive court procedures, and most often burdens the budget of the Republic of Serbia. With this recommendation, the courts will be relieved and the budgetary resources of the Republic of Serbia will be saved.This Conclusion was published in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia” No. 96/2017, 27 October 2017.

04. October 2017.

On September 4, 2017, the Trade Union of the Food Processing and Catering School in Čačak launched a strike on the occasion of the dismissal of the Principal and the introduction of temporary injunctions by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, after the special control of the Educational Inspection.The Trade Union of the Food Processing and Catering School in Čačak addressed the Republic Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes on 12 September 2017 with the Proposal for initiating the procedure for resolving the collective labour dispute. The strike was organized by the Union with a request to abolish the decisions of the Ministry of Education which replaced the Principal, i.e. appointed acting Principal, as well as the dismissal of the School Board and the election of the interim School Board until the end of the provisional measures.On September 14, 2017, the Agency appointed Dragana Miletić as a conciliator in a collective labour dispute, who, in accordance with the law, formed a Conciliation Committee composed of the representative of the Trade Union, the employer and the founder.Following two debates, on 29 September 2017, the Conciliation Committee adopted the Recommendation on the manner of ending the dispute, on the basis of which the Agreement was signed on 3 October 2017. Subsequently, the conditions were made to end the strike, on the basis of the agreement of the interested parties.The agreement arranged that the Assembly of the City of Čačak will appoint the School Board no later than October 25, 2017, and that the newly appointed School Board will advertise a vacancy for school Principal within the legal deadline, and that the Ministry of Education will respect the School Board’s will on the election of the Principal who meets the conditions for performing this function according to the Law on the Basis of the Education and Educational System.After the signing of the Agreement by the representatives of the Trade Unions, the employer and the founder, the strike was successfully concluded with the participation of the conciliator of the Republic Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, and the teaching process was normalized on October 4, 2017.On account of this Agreement, the solidarity strike announced for 6 October in other schools in Čačak was cancelled.

25. September 2017.

The second interactive seminar of The Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes for mediators and arbiters in 2017, within the framework of the Special Programme for the Training of Mediators and Arbiters, was held on 22 September 2017, starting at 10 a.m. in Belgrade, at the Palace of Serbia.The Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Zoran Đorđević opened The Second Interactive Seminar of The Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes and announced that the Government of the Republic of Serbia will give more importance to the work of the Agency in the future, so that all employees and employers in the country get acquainted with the results of the work of its mediators and arbiters.Following the introductory speech of the Director of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, Mile Radivojević, the Director of International Labour Organisation for Central and Eastern Europe, Marcus Pilgrim addressed mediators and arbiters. He said that the Rapublic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes is a good example to the agencies in the region and reminded that it reduces costs regarding labour disputes, but at the same time ensures social cohesion and peace.After the opening of the training, mediators and arbiters had the opportunity to get acquainted with the case law in the area of collective labour disputes, discussed by Lidija Đukic, a judge of the Supreme Court of Cassation, as well as the current situation and assumptions for further social dialogue in Serbia, discussed by Assosiate Professor Snežana Lakićević from the Faculty of Law, University “Union” in Belgrade. This seminar was concluded by a case study on the peaceful settlement of collective labour disputes, presented by Dr. Živko Kulić, the mediator, arbiter and dean of the Faculty of Law, the University “John Nezbit”.

19. September 2017.

Belgrade, September 19, 2017 – The management and employees of Rail Vehicles Factory “Goša” from Smederevska Palanka concluded the Agreement on termination of collective labour dispute in the presence of the conciliator of the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, prof. Dr Živko Kulić, which formally ended a five-month strike. The agreement was signed by the President of the Strike Committee Milan Vujičić and the General Manager Milutin Šćepanović.The agreement resolved all the issues between the employer and the Strike Committee, i.e. the continuation of the interrupted work process, the dynamics and method of payment of unpaid salaries as well as loan restructuring for payment of contributions on the basis of pension, disability and health insurance etc. The agreement came into effect on the day of the conclusion.

25. July 2017.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, recommended the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes as an institutional mechanism for settlement of labour disputes at the press conference, on the occasion of signing of the Agreement between ‘FIAT Automobiles Serbia’ and the Independent Trade Union FCA, which ended the strike and formally reached the agreement on the conditions of continuing operations.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWv8qcG-F58[/embedyt]The Government of the Republic of Serbia intervened in ‘FIAT Automobiles Serbia’ to reach an agreement, in order to avoid a complete stoppage of production in a company employing more than 2,500 workers, and prevent the GDP, exports and subcontractors from suffering as well. However, for all other similar disputes, as stated, there is an institutional mechanism, which is the Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes. She emphasised that this was a non-institutional mechanism because of the entire situation, but she recommended that in all other situations we return to the institutions responsible for the case, namely the Agency, as the only proper way to resolve such disputes.

18. July 2017.

Belgrade, July 18, 2017 – The management and employees of Rail Vehicles Factory “Goša” from Smederevska Palanka decided to settle their labour dispute with the employer in a peaceful manner.A joint Proposal was submitted to the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes to initiate a procedure for peaceful settlement of a labour dispute between the employer and the strike committee in ‘’Goša’’ from Smederevska Palanka, on the occasion of a strike with an employer which had lasted in the company for a long time.Prof. Dr Živko Kulić, has been designated as the assigned conciliator in this case, who is registered in the Directory of Conciliators and Arbiters of the Agency.

01. June 2017.

 The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs in cooperation with the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, organizes round tables in the framework of implementing the public discussion on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, which will be held from 31 May to 20 June 2017.The round tables will be held in Belgrade on 8 June 2017, in Nis on 12 June 2017 and in Novi Sad, 14 June 2017.All the interested in attendance at round tables can apply via e-mail: rad@minrzs.gov.rs until Sunday, 4 June 2017 at the latest. It is necessary that the application states the name and surname, as well as the institution where the person comes from and the phone number. Given the limited number of places in halls where the public hearings are held, the advantage will be given to persons in order of registration on which they will be informed by telephone.An integral part of this public invitation is a Program of public discussion with the text of the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, on the grounds specified by the Committee for Economy and Finance.

18. May 2017.

A collective labour dispute between the Public Media Institution RTS and RTS ‘Independence’ trade union is led before the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes. The subject of the dispute is the strike against the employer. The process is initiated ex officio, at the proposal of the Union, bearing in mind that the employer’s activity is of public interest, due to which the parties to the dispute are obliged to start executing the collective labour dispute.Namely, after the decision to go on a warning strike and starting the process of peaceful settlement of collective labour disputes, a Conciliation Committee was formed. After having the first hearing, the union decided not to keep previously announced one-hour work stoppage and to continue negotiations before the Committee.The Chairman of the Committee is prof. Dr Živko Kulić, registered in the Directory of Conciliators and Arbite