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Russian Federation. Collective agreements
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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Act No. 2490­1 of the Russian Federation respecting collective agreements and accords. Dated 11 March 1992.
       (Vedomosti S'ezda narodnykh deputatov Rossijskoj federacii i verkhovnogo soveta Rossijskoj federacii, 23 April 1992, No. 17, Text No. 890, pp. 1211­1219)


Table of contents


CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Scope and objectives of the Act. This Act establishes the legal bases for the preparation, conclusion and application of collective agreements and accords, in order to contribute to the concerted regulation of labour relations and to reconcile the socio­economic interests of workers and their employers.

This Act shall apply to enterprises, institutions and organisations, irrespective of their form of ownership, the sector in which they operate and the number of their staff.

Section 2. Basic concepts. The term "collective agreement" means a legal act to regulate labour, socio­economic and occupational relations between the employer and the workers of an enterprise, institution or organisation (hereafter the "enterprise").

The term "accord" means a legal act establishing obligations concerning the fixing of conditions of work and employment and social guarantees for workers in an occupation, sector of activity or specific territory.

Section 3. Conformity of the collective agreement, accord and employment contract with legislation. The clauses of collective agreements and accords concluded in accordance with legislation shall be binding on all enterprises to which they apply.

Clauses of collective agreements or accords which are less favourable than legislative provisions in respect of the situation of workers shall be null and void.

The inclusion in employment contracts of conditions in respect of the situation of workers which are less favourable than those established by legislation, collective agreements or accords shall be prohibited.

Section 4. Basic principles governing the conclusion of collective agreements and accords. The basic principles governing the conclusion of collective agreements shall be as follows:

Section 5. Prohibition of acts hindering the conclusion, revision or application of collective agreements or accords. The bodies of the Executive and of the management of the economy, political parties and any association of employers shall be prohibited from intervening in any manner whatsoever with a view to restricting the legal rights of workers or their representatives, or to impeding the exercise of such rights, in the conclusion, revision and the application of collective agreements and accords.

With the exception of financing provisions prescribed by legislation, organisations or bodies established or financed by employers, as well as bodies of the Executive, or of the management of the economy or of political parties shall be prohibited from conducting negotiations for the conclusion of collective agreements or accords on behalf of workers.


CHAPTER II. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Section 6. Right to conduct negotiations. Each of the parties shall be entitled to take the initiative for collective bargaining in order to prepare, conclude or revise a collective agreement or accord.

Any party which the other party notifies in writing of its initiative to conduct negotiations is required to begin such negotiations within seven days.

The right to conduct collective bargaining on behalf of workers shall be delegated to trade unions represented by their competent bodies or other representative bodies empowered by the workers.

If there are within the enterprise, at the federal, sectoral or territorial levels, several trade unions or other representative bodies empowered by the workers, each shall be entitled to conduct negotiations on behalf of its members or the workers whom it represents.

Employers and the bodies of the Executive or the management of the economy shall be required to conduct negotiations on labour and socio­economic matters that trade unions or other representative bodies empowered by the workers propose to them for consideration.

During the three months preceding the expiry of a collective agreement or an accord in force or within a time­limit prescribed by such an instrument, either of the parties may inform the other in writing of its intention to initiate negotiations for the purpose of concluding a new collective agreement or accord.

Section 7. Bargaining procedures. In order to conduct negotiations and to prepare draft collective agreement or accord, the parties shall set up a committee comprised of an equal number of representatives entrusted with the necessary powers.

The membership of the committee, the duration, the location for its work and the bargaining agenda shall be fixed by decision of the parties.

The parties to the negotiations shall enjoy full freedom concerning the choice and discussion of the matters proposed for inclusion in the collective agreement or accord.

The bodies of the Executive as well as employers and their associations shall make available to trade unions or representative bodies empowered by the workers with the information in their possession that is required to conduct collective bargaining. Participants in the negotiations and other persons involved in the process shall not divulge information available to them if such information is a matter of state security or a trade secret. Persons

divulging such information shall be subject to the liability established by applicable legislation.

If, during the course of the bargaining, the parties are unable to reach agreement for reasons independent of their wishes, a record shall be prepared which shall include definitive proposals made by the parties concerning appropriate measures to address these reasons, as well as the date for the resumption of bargaining.

Section 8. Settlement of disagreements. For the purposes of resolving disagreements which arise during the course of collective bargaining, the parties shall have recourse to conciliation procedures.

Within three days following the preparation of the record of the disagreement, the parties shall consult with one another and set up a conciliation committee; if the conciliation committee is unsuccessful, the parties shall refer the matter to a mediator chosen by agreement between them.

The conciliation committee or the mediator shall make recommendations on the substance of the disagreement within a period of seven days after examining the record of the disagreement.

If no settlement is reached between the parties on the recommendations made, a strike may be held to the extent that it is not contrary to legislation.

In order to support their claims put forward during the bargaining regarding the drawing up, conclusion or revision of a collective agreement or accord, trade unions or other representative bodies empowered by the workers shall be entitled to hold meetings and assemblies, set up picket lines and organise demonstrations outside working hours and without prejudicing the activities of the enterprise.

Section 9. Guarantees and compensation during the bargaining period. During the bargaining period, the persons participating as representatives of the parties, as well as experts invited to participate in the work of the committees, shall be released from their main activities and be paid the average applicable remuneration, for up to a maximum of three months a year, and their participation in negotiations for the purposes of calculating period of service shall be taken into account. All expenses incurred as a result of participating in the negotiations shall be compensated according to the procedure established by labour legislation, the collective agreement or accord.

The fees of experts and mediators invited by mutual agreement between the parties shall be fixed with their agreement by the bodies of the Executive and of the management of the economy, as well as by employers (or their associations).

The representatives of trade union organisations and workers' collectives participating in the collective bargaining may not, throughout the period of such negotiations, be subject to disciplinary measures, assigned to another workplace, transferred or dismissed by the respective administration without the consent of the body which they are elected to represent.


CHAPTER III. COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

Section 10. Right of initiative concerning the need to conclude a collective agreement. The right of initiative concerning the need to conclude a collective agreement with the employer shall be vested in the trade union, through the intermediary of its executive body, a representative body of the workers elected by the latter or, directly, in the general assembly (or conference) of the workers' collective.

Section 11. Parties to a collective agreement. A collective agreement is concluded between the workers, represented by one or more trade unions or by other representative bodies empowered by the workers, and the employer, either directly or through his duly empowered representatives.

A collective agreement is concluded in enterprises or in units which comprise such an enterprise and are endowed with legal personality, irrespective of their form of ownership, sector of activity or the number of staff.

Section 12. Procedure and time period for the drawing up and conclusion of a collective agreement. The procedure and time period for the drawing up of a draft collective agreement and the conclusion of the latter, the membership of the committee for which provision is made in section 7 of this Act, as well as the place and agenda of the negotiations shall be fixed by the parties and written down in a document which commits the enterprise and the decisions taken by the trade union or of the representative body empowered by the workers.

In the event that several trade unions or other representative bodies empowered by the workers participate at the same time on behalf of the latter, a representative joint body shall be set up for the purposes of conducting negotiations, drawing up a single draft text and concluding a single collective agreement.

The single draft of the collective agreement must necessarily be submitted to the workers of the various branches of the enterprise and be completed in the light of the observations, suggestions and proposals for additions put forward. The single draft as completed must be ratified by the general assembly (or conference) of the workers' collective and signed on behalf of the workers by all the members of the joint representative body.

In the event of disagreement within the joint representative body, the general assembly (or conference) of the workers' collective shall adopt the draft of the collective agreement which it considers to be appropriate, and shall invite the trade union or other representative body empowered by the workers which has drawn up the draft to initiate bargaining on this basis, after approval by the general assembly (or conference), and to conclude a collective agreement with the employer on behalf of the workers' collective.

The trade union or other representative body empowered by the workers may on its own initiative conduct negotiations and conclude a collective agreement on behalf of the workers whom it represents and propose and conclude an addendum to a single collective agreement, for the purposes of protecting the specific interests, on an occupational matter, of the workers whom it represents. The addendum shall be an integral part of the collective agreement and have the same legal force as the latter.

The employer is required to furnish the trade union or representative body empowered by the workers with the opportunity to inform each worker of the draft texts of the collective agreement prepared by the parties and to provide such bodies with the internal communication and information means in his possession, calculators and other technical equipment, premises for the meetings and consultations to be held outside working hours and the necessary space to install bulletin boards.

The collective agreement, its addenda and the records of disagreement signed by the parties shall be communicated within seven days by the employer to the competent body of the Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Russian Federation, for the purpose of their registration.

Section 13. Content and structure of collective agreements. The content and structure of the collective agreements shall be fixed by the parties.

The following mutual obligations of the employer and the workers may appear in the collective agreement:

The collective agreement may also, taking into account the economic situation of the enterprise, include other clauses, in particular those providing more favourable working and socio­economic conditions for workers than those established by the standards and provisions fixed by legislation and accords (additional leave, pension supplements, early retirement, compensation for transport and mission expenses, free or reduced cost meals in the enterprise and for workers' children in schools and pre­school establishments, as well as other kinds of benefits and compensation).

The collective agreement shall include standard provisions where acts of legislation in force prescribe the compulsory inclusion of such provisions.

Section 14. Application of the collective agreement. A collective agreement shall be concluded for a minimum period of one year and a maximum period of three years.

The collective agreement shall come into force at the time that it is signed by the parties, or from the date fixed by the agreement, and shall remain in force throughout its duration.

On the expiry of the fixed time­limit, the collective agreement shall remain in force until the parties conclude a new collective agreement or amend or supplement the agreement in force.

A collective agreement shall remain in force in the event of any change made in the membership, structure or denomination of the management body of the enterprise and in the event of the termination of the employment contract of the director of the enterprise.

In the event of a reorganisation of the enterprise, the collective agreement shall remain in force throughout the period of its duration; it may thereafter be revised on the initiative of one of the parties.

In the event of a transfer in ownership of the assets of the enterprise, the validity of the collective agreement shall be maintained for three months. During this period, the parties may conduct negotiations for the conclusion of a new collective agreement or maintain, amend or supplement the agreement in force.

During the process of the revision of a collective agreement the maintenance of workers' benefits and the application of the other conditions for which provision was initially made must be decided upon.

In the event of the dissolution of an enterprise according to the procedure and in the conditions established by legislation, the collective agreement shall remain in force throughout the dissolution process.

Section 15. Amendments and additions to a collective agreement. Amendments and additions to a collective agreement in force shall be made only by mutual agreement between the parties and according to the procedure established by the collective agreement itself or, if no such procedure has been established, by that fixed by this Act for the conclusion of such agreements.

Section 16. Guarantees in the event of the dissolution of the enterprise. In the event of the dissolution of the enterprise, the amounts outstanding to the workers' collective under the collective agreement shall be deducted from the assets of the dissolved enterprise before those due to the state budget, banks and other creditors. The amount of the sums used to meet the claims of the workers' collective under the collective agreement shall be fixed and divided by the liquidation committee among the sectors of the enterprise and on behalf of each worker, in agreement with the trade unions or other representative bodies empowered by the workers which have signed the collective agreement and its addenda.

Section 17. Supervision of the application of the collective agreement. The supervision of the application of a collective agreement shall be carried out directly by the parties or their duly empowered representatives, as well as by the competent bodies of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and of the Russian Federation.

During the course of the supervision, the parties shall furnish all the information in their possession which is necessary for this purpose.

The parties which have signed the collective agreement must report on its application every year or periodically as prescribed by the collective agreement to the general assembly (or conference) of the workers' collective.


CHAPTER IV. ACCORDS

Section 18. Forms of accords. Taking into account the labour relations to which they shall apply, general or special accords may be concluded.

A general accord shall establish the common principles for the application of the agreed socio­economic policy.

A sectoral (by tariffs) accord shall establish general guidelines for the socio­economic development of the sector of activities concerned and the conditions of work and remuneration of tasks, as well as social guarantees for workers in this sector (or occupational groups).

A special accord shall establish the conditions for resolving specific socio­economic problems related to territorial characteristics.

By decision of the parties to the negotiations, accords may be tripartite or between two parties.

Section 19. Parties to an accord. An accord may be concluded:

Trade unions or other representative bodies empowered by the workers shall not be entitled to demand that the bodies of the Executive which do not have the status of employers or employers' representatives conclude joint accords.

Section 20. Procedure and time­limits for the preparation and conclusion of an accord. The procedure and time­limits for the preparation and conclusion of an accord shall be fixed by the committee to which reference is made in section 7 of this Act and shall take the form ratified by decision of the said committee.

In the event of the participation, at the respective level, of more than one representative trade unions (or federations of trade unions) or bodies (or associations of bodies) empowered by the workers, members of the committee which represents the workers shall be appointed by agreement between these representative trade unions (or federations of trade unions) or bodies (or associations of bodies) empowered by the workers.

The draft accord shall be drawn up by the committee and signed by the empowered representatives who are parties to the accord.

The accord signed by the parties and its addenda shall be communicated within seven days by the employer (or employers' association) who is a party to the pact to the Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Russian Federation for the purpose of registration.

Section 21. Content of an accord. The content of an accord shall be fixed by the parties. Accords may cover the following matters:

Accords may include clauses on other labour and socio­economic matters, in accordance with the legislation.

Section 22. Application of an accord. An accord shall come into force from the time it is signed by the parties or from the date fixed therein.

The period of validity of an accord and the procedure for supervising its application shall be fixed by the parties. The period of the validity of an accord may not be longer than three years.

The accord shall apply to the workers, the employer and the executive body which authorised their representatives to prepare and conclude the accord on their behalf.

Section 23. Amendments and additions to an accord. Amendments and additions to an accord shall be made by common consent between the parties and according to the procedure fixed by the accord itself or, if no such procedure has been fixed, by that established by this Act for the conclusion of an accord.

Section 24. Supervision of the application of an accord. The supervision of the application of an accord at all levels shall be carried out directly by the parties or their empowered representatives, as well as by the Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Russian Federation.

During the course of the supervision, the parties shall furnish all information in their possession which is necessary for this purpose.


CHAPTER V. LIABILITY

Section 25. Liability in the event of non­participation in bargaining. The persons representing the employer who fail to participate in bargaining to conclude, amend or supplement a collective agreement or accord who do not respect the time­limit established in paragraph 2 of section 6 of this Act or who do not attend the meetings of the competent committee in the time­limits prescribed by the parties shall be liable to a fine imposed by the courts, of an amount equal to ten times that of the minimum wage for each day after the expiry of the prescribed time­limit.

Section 26. Liability in the event of the infringement of or failure to apply a collective agreement or accord. Persons representing the employer who are found guilty of infringing or failing to apply a collective agreement or accord by which they are bound shall be liable to a fine, imposed by the courts, of an amount equal to ten times that of the minimum wage.

Upon the complaint of a trade union or another representative body empowered by the workers, the owner of an enterprise or the competent managing body of the economy, as the case may be, shall take the measures prescribed by

legislation against the manager responsible for the infringement of or the failure to carry out the obligations of the collective agreement.

Section 27. Liability in the event of failure to furnish the necessary information for collective bargaining or the supervision process. Persons representing the employer who are found guilty of failing to furnish the necessary information for collective bargaining or the process of supervision of a collective agreement or accord shall be subject to a disciplinary sanction or a fine, imposed by the courts, of an amount equal to three times that of the minimum wage.

Section 28. Procedure for liability proceedings. The procedure and time periods for examining cases which may result in the application of a fine under the provisions of this Act shall be regulated by the Code of Administrative Violations of the RSFSR.

The cases to which reference is made in the first paragraph of this section shall be examined at the request of one of the parties to a collective agreement or accord of a competent committee or on the initiative of the public prosecutor.



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