Ljubljana, 08 August (STA) - Trade unions and employers in the hospitality sector signed a new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday. The deal, which has averted a strike at the peak of the tourist season, secures a yearly holiday bonus of EUR 1,000 for workers and tackles overtime.
Karmen Leban, the head of the Trade Union of Hospitality and Tourism, noted today that unionists also managed to keep all bonuses, including for holiday and Sunday work, in the agreement.
Coming up with ways to address overtime was more difficult, but in the end a solution was found. Under the deal, employers will now have to analyse overtime every three months to see if it exceeds 5% of the average working time and take measures to address the issue.
Excessive overtime will have to be used up within six months or employers will have to pay a 30-50% bonus for the overtime, depending on how long it takes them to pay it out.
The new bargaining agreement, which will be in force until the end of 2022, has averted the strike amidst the peak season, but the two sides still have to address low average pay in the sector. Talks are scheduled to start in the autumn.
While the agreement includes the already enforced 11-15% rise for those with the lowest basic pay in the sector, which Leban said was a major step forward, she noted that the average gross pay in the industry lagged behind the average Slovenian gross pay by around EUR 500.
"This points to a major gap ... and to the fact that the hospitality sector is at the bottom end of wage scale in the country," she added.
She believes that the current system should be overhauled to allow for wages that "will satisfy both employers and workers".
Klavdija Perger of the Tourism and Hospitality Chamber said that employers were in favour of putting matters in order at the systemic level, but that the situation in the branch was "everything but easy" despite exceptional results.
According to Igor Škrinjar of the Employers' Association, shortage of workers tops the list of problems, as the branch, which currently employs about 32,000 people, would need another 7,000 workers.