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Employment Collective Agreement Signed

Prishtina, 23 September 2004 - Representatives of Government, Kosova Trade Union (BSPK), and Kosova Chamber of Commerce (KCC), in a ceremony held this week signed the Work Collective Contract, which regulates the relationships between employers and employees, the Kosovar News Agency “Kosovalive” informs. It regulates the legal, social and economic relationships, and the rights and obligations of both parties. Later it is to be amplified with the Labor Law.

PM Bajram Rexhepi, three members of tripartite consulting council, comprised by the Ministry of Labor, BSPK, and KCC were present at the ceremony. PM Rexhepi called the delay in signing this contract reasonable, due to the detailed review of the contract.

According to PM Rexhepi, this moment shows the seriousness of the institutions. “The endorsement of this contract is an important moment for the respect of workers’ rights,” said Rexhepi. According to the head of BSPK, Bahri Shabani, this is a historic day, as, according to him, this is the first time an agreement between the tripartite council, the Government, employers and employees is being reached.

“For the first time the contract clarifies the position of employers and employees, and creates benefits not only for the employees, but also serves to the investments that would be made in Kosova in the future, therefore this is a victory not only for the workers but for Kosova in general,” said the head of BSPK, Bahri Shabani. The contract was signed by the Minister of Labor, Ahmet Isufi, the head of KCC, Ismail Kastrati, representatives of the business community, and the BSPK on behalf of workers.

According to Kastrati, this contract is a contribution to the creation of a suitable economic environment and creation of relaxed relationships between the employers and employees. However, according to Hajrullah Gorani, expert on economy and former head of BSPK, the application of this contract will face difficulties. “This is a very good initiative; however, its implementation will face problems,” he said.

The endorsement of this contract was result of many negotiations between the Government and BSPK. According to Shabani, most of the goals of BSPK have been achieved. Also the 65,000 workers of public services are now included. Meanwhile, the members of Kosova Protection Corps (KPC) and Kosova Police Service (KPS) remain out of the contract.

This contract enables endorsement of individual contracts and other benefits such as safety at work, health protection, annual leave, and also maternity leave, while those who have more work experience are to receive higher percentage of their monthly salaries. The collective contract will be effective starting January 2005, while its implementation will be carried out by the future Government, to come out of the October elections.

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