Setting up of NIS trade union economic experts network

Following the PERC annual programme of activities a meeting of trade union economic experts from NIS region was organised in Tbilisi, 23-24 May 2011. Participants from AHIK, CNSM, FPRK, FPU, KVPU and GTUC, representatives of PERC and its Moscow and Prof. Bruno Sergi, Bela Galgoczi from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) took part in the meeting and discussed the idea of setting up an expert network to provide support and advice for trade union policies in the NIS region.

The participants were presented with the PERC approaches to such kind of regional cooperation and the experience from the functioning of similar networks in the Balkans. Broader economic policy issues, linked to the impact of the crisis and the search for recovery policies that will go beyond the current simplistic austerity approaches, particularly in Europe were addressed and discussed. In that line the latest product of the joint efforts of TUAC,ETUI and ITUC experts, the forthcoming ETUI publication of a book - Exiting from the crisis: towards a more equitable and sustainable model of growth was also presented at the meeting. As the book is being translated in Russian for the NIS region at the moment a more a more in-depth discussion has been left for the next meeting when participants will have the chance to read it and see the relevant points for their situations.

After a internal discussion of the NIS experts the meeting came forward with conclusions that confirmed the usefulness to set up a NIS network of economic experts, to start a website and establish contacts with the similar operation in the Balkans. Along with that some priority areas for work to start with have been identified: Wages and wage systems policies; pension reform approaches for trade union policies; developing and implementation of social standards; exchange of information and experience in collective bargaining to strengthen trade union positions in the process. The ITUC/PERC office in Moscow will provide organisational and technical support for the operation of the network.

The activity was organised with support of the LO-TCO.