Minister of Labor and Social Policy Jovanka Trenchevska and Education, Science and Culture Workers’ Union president Jakim Nedelkov have signed a new collective agreement for the employees of public childcare centers, transmitted MIA.
According to an official press release, the new collective agreement increases the salaries of childcare providers in public institutions by 15 percent.
It also provides for the continuous growth of salaries of all preschool center staff by linking their wages to any subsequent increase in the minimum wage. Employees’ working hours will be more flexible from now on, especially taking into account field trips and other work-related activities done outside of the childcare centers. Employees will also get four hours of paid leave from work during the month to fulfill urgent personal needs and be eligible for annual prizes, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy said.
The new collective agreement also increases the employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees and people affected by their work activities.
In addition, the agreement allows for increased benefits and bonuses for staff; better protects workers’ rights during a strike; provides for the participation of a union representative in several committees in the institution; and increases deadlines for applying for jobs in childcare centers.
The new collective agreement was developed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy officials together with representatives of the union. The signatories of the agreement, Minister Trenchevska and union leader Nedelkov, agreed that the new collective agreement was an improvement in protecting the rights of childcare providers.