The 2021-2023 General Agreement Between Government and Nationwide Employer and Worker Associations Signed In Kazakhstan

On March 12, 2021 the National Tripartite Commission for social partnership and regulation of social and industrial relations chaired by Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Eraly Tugzhanov held a meeting at which social partners signed the 2021-2023 General Agreement between the Government and nationwide associations of workers and employers.

News | 12 March 2021
The document based on the principles of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda purports to foster social partnership, strengthen economic policies and promote productive employment of the population, decent jobs and wages, as well as to support social policies.

The Minister of Labour and Social Protection Serik Shapkenov discussed the key aspects of the General Agreement and stressed urgent issues of social partnership regarding prevention and settlement of social and labour conflicts.

At the meeting, the Chairman of Kazakhstan’s Federation of Trade Unions pointed out that the signing of the General Agreement proves the social partners’ desire to constructively address the arising problems by negotiating and seeking mutually acceptable solutions.

“For the first time ever the three nationwide trade union associations joined their efforts to draft the General Agreement and subsequently advocate their positions at the working group meetings,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.

The FTUK head focused on the details of the current agreement and announced a number of trade union initiatives reflected in the document. “The main differences and amendments to the General Agreement deal with obligations of the parties in respect of the working conditions, employment and social guarantees for workers, the institutional reform of social partnership, the adoption of the Social Partnership Law etc. Despite difficult negotiations, we have made sure that the standards to improve the wage system are part of the General Agreement. A working group will be set up to discuss a phased increase of the minimum wage, legislatively fix wage adjustments for those working at enterprises of any incorporation, and ratify ILO Minimum Wage Fixing Convention No. 131 which have special provisions for developing countries,” the FTUK Chairman said.

Mr. Dauletalin underlined that the initiatives to roll out the procedure to ratify 20 ILO Conventions and to draft a roadmap for the Decent Work Agenda have found support with the social partners.

“I would not say the negotiations were easy. Many proposals made by the unions were not supported by the employer associations but we have managed to strike a compromise and to reflect important provisions in the General Agreement,” the FTUK Chairman said.

He expressed confidence that the General Agreement will become an example of sustainable and productive social partnership to address important social issues and will provide a basis for sectoral and regional agreements.

In summing up the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister Eraly Tugzhanov said that the signing of the General Agreement was important to make sure that the decision making on social and labour issues takes into account the coordinated stance of the social partners.

He invited all parties to social partnership to diligently implement the new General Agreement to achieve impactful performance in protecting social and labour rights of the people of Kazakhstan.