Since July of this year, representatives of the employer and the trade union have been negotiating the renewal of the existing Gorenje company collective agreement. Through constructive and meaningful negotiations, both parties have always pursued a common goal, i. e. the long-term and stable growth of our company for the benefit of all stakeholders and focused on reaching an agreement within realistic financial frameworks that will be acceptable to both parties. The employer will invest almost 13 million euros annually (in relation to 2022) in the implementation of the agreement, and correct and, above all, successful negotiations on the renewal of the collective agreement are a good foundation for the constructive continuation of the social dialogue in the coming year. As part of the negotiations, we also agreed on the payment of this year's Christmas bonus, in the amount of 850 euros gross.
The main purpose and reason for the start of negotiations on the renewal of the existing Gorenje company collective agreement was the desire of both parties for a better, more sustainable, and fair regulation of the salary system, whereby we devoted special emphasis and resources to the regulation and improvement of the lowest salaries. We started the negotiations even before the announced government increase in the minimum salary, because we are both aware of the problem of salaries in the lowest ranks of the salary scale, as well as the increasingly strong equalization effect, which only gets worsened by each increase in the minimum wage.
Therefore, as part of the changes to the existing collective agreement, we agreed on the renovation of the salary system. For the lowest tariff class for beginners in the simplest jobs in production, we will increase basic salaries to 994 euros gross, and we are adding new, higher salary classes at the upper part of the salary scale, which will enable the promotion and recruitment of the best experts and managers.
Also, none of the employees with 7 or more years of service in Hisense Europe will have a basic salary below 1151.77 euros. The new salary scale will be effective from January 1, 2023.
We have more clearly defined the basis for calculating the adjustment of salaries, where the definition of the Gorenje Group, which was no longer relevant, is replaced by the companies of the Hisense Europe group, signatories of the collective agreement.
For employee rights based on length of service (jubilee awards, retirement severance pay), we will consider the length of service in the company (including companies within our group or legal predecessors). For future employees who will be employed in Hisense Europe companies after 1/1/2023, we will calculate the years of employment allowance at the rate of 0.7% per year for each year of service in Hisense Europe (previously 0.5% per year), and no allowance will be attached to the total length of service at all employers (previously 0.5% annually). With this, in the future, we want to place more emphasis in the company collective agreement on belonging to the company, while the amount of allowance and the method of calculation for existing employees remain unchanged.
We have defined more precisely the promotions that are linked to the annual work performance assessment, and the proposal for promotion criteria will be coordinated with and approved by the works council before implementation.
We have also slightly changed the scale for calculating additional days of annual leave based on level of education, length of service and age. In terms of guaranteeing employees' rights, we continue to exceed the level of the industry collective agreement, which is in the interest of both the employer and the trade union.
As part of the negotiations on changes and additions to the collective agreement, the employer and the union also agreed on the amount of this year's Christmas bonus, which will be paid on December 20 in the amount of 850 euros gross.
"The success of the negotiations between the employer and the union proves that we are both ready and able to turn over a new leaf and focus on the future: on ensuring the sustainable growth and development of the company for the benefit of all its stakeholders. I believe that with this we have also laid a solid foundation for the constructive continuation of the social dialogue and that we will continue to be demanding, but fair and reasonable partners to each other in the future, as this is the only way we can build a long-term successful story," pointed out the head of the employer's negotiation group, vice-president of Hisense Europe and Hisense International Stanka Pejanović.
"During the negotiations on the renewal of the company collective agreement with an emphasis on the salary system, both the union representatives and the employer representatives had a common goal, namely a long-term stable and strong company and satisfied employees. We can only be stronger together, and I believe that we proved this with the successful conclusion of the difficult but constructive negotiations," said the president of SKEI Gorenje GA Jasminka Nedić, head of the union's negotiating group.
The employer and the union also agreed to constructively continue the social dialogue in 2023, taking into account the current situation. On the basis of this successful agreement, with which we both proved that we are able to overcome the disagreements and pressures of past periods for the benefit of the company and its employees, we intend to continue to build a mutual relationship of partnership cooperation for the benefit of all the company's stakeholders.
Management of Hisense Europe and the SKEI trade union, PS Gorenje Conference