Eesti Energia signs collective agreements with trade unions

Subsidiaries of the Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia last week signed collective agreements with trade unions. Wages are to increase 4-5 percent.

In the mining company Enefit Kaevandused, an agreement was reached with the miners' and energy workers' independent trade union and the Narva Energy Trade Union regarding the collective agreement, while another subsidiary of Eesti Energia, Enefit Energiatootmise AS, signed an agreement with the Narva Energy Trade Union, the press release said - reported

"Regardless of the fact that the company and trade unions assumed different positions regarding a number of topics, the negotiations can be seen as constructive — we reached a solution with all parties and did so in regards to both vacation days and wages," Enefit Kaevandused board chairman Ahti Puur said.

The new collective agreement of Enefit Kaevandused is to last until June 30, 2018, and according to the agreement, there will be a 5 percent increase in the wages of employees who have yet to receive a raise this year. Benefits will remain unchanged for the most part, however there will be slightly fewer additional days off; some employees will be left with 14 additional days off instead of the previous 21, while the seven days will be compensated for financially.

The collective agreement signed by Enefit Energiatootmise AS and the Narva Energy Trade Union is to expire on Dec. 31, 2018. According to the agreement, all existing benefits included in the agreement will remain in place and the basic wage of trade union members will increase four percent on average in addition to the raise already given at the beginning of the year.

"At the end of the year, we will further negotiate and agree upon the possible wage change starting from 2018," said Tõnu Aas, CEO of Eesti Energia power generating arm Enefit Energiatootmise AS. "Unfortunately we have yet to reach an agreement with the miners' and energy workers' independent trade union. We will continue a dialogue with them in order to sign a collective agreement."

At the beginning of the negotiations, the miners' and energy workers' independent trade union asked for a 7 percent increase in wages. The employer, meanwhile, wanted the existing extra pay for work on holidays, in evenings and at night, as well as extra days off, which the collective agreement offers more generously than required by law, to be replaced with a pay rise. The Narva Energy Trade Union managed to retain all existing benefits and according to the agreement, the wages will retrospectively increase from March 1.

The miners' and energy workers' independent trade union represents mainly miners and workers at the Balti Power Plant, while the Narva Energy Trade Union brings together workers from the Estonia and Auvere Power Plants as well as the shale oil plants.

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