EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Hungary: EIRO CAR on the Changing Business Landscape in the Electricity sector and Industrial Relations in Europe

About

Country: 
Hungary
Sector: 
Electrical
Author: 
Ildikó Krén, Zsuzsa Rindt
Institution: 
Solution4.org

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In Hungary the electricity sector is quite well organized. The collective agreement is extended, thus covering the entire sector. The wage agreements are yearly negotiated and until 2011 it was also extended. However during the bilateral consultation there are only employment related issues discussed and no professional ones. The crisis has not fundamentally hit the sector, as electricity is required by the society and since the privatisations in the 90’s the employment is optimized at the firms. The RES industries are not highly developed in the country even if there are more and more investments since around 2006. The Parliament has just approved the government's National Energy Strategy with the intension to increase RES capacities in Hungary.

1. General background information on the energy policy in your country and employment trends

1.1. Please explain briefly the main governmental strategies/action in relation to the electricity production and energy source mix. In your answer, please include information on the following aspects, where possible:

  1. Is there an outspoken policy or plan in your country for any kind of change towards an increase or decrease of electricity production with any of the different sources (coal, oil, gas, hydro, eolic, sun, etc.)?

On 3 October 2011the Parliament has approved the government's National Energy Strategy (the Strategy) aimed to ensure the long-term security of energy supplies in Hungary increasing the country's energy self-sufficiency, competitiveness, sustainability and the state's role in energy affairs. An explicit intention is to meet the community targets in the frameworks of the European Union including the increase the share of the different electricity sources.

  1. Which is the targeted energy mix for the future (see material provided)? How, in which subsequent steps, such targets are expected to be met?

The Strategy intends to achieve its objectives through increased energy efficiency, rising domestic production of renewable energy, integration into Europe's energy infrastructure, introduction of dual-purpose agriculture for production of both food and biomass, use of fossil fuels and gas both obtained at a fair price from abroad and extracted in Hungary as well as continued generation of atomic energy.

The European Parliaments and Councils RED Directive set for Hungary a minimum of 13% share for the renewable energy sources of the gross national energy consumption. However according to the national interests the government aims a 14,65% share for the renewable energy sources till 2020 as per the Strategy.

  1. Are investments in networks (new connections, upgrade) envisaged? To what extent? With which specific goals?

The Strategy stipulates the construction of new power plants to replace those that will become obsolete in the future, as for example in Szolnok (HU322) the 220/120/20 kV station has been expanded with the 400kV-technology to improve the surroundings’ electricity supply. It is planned to reduce the dependence from one kind of energy source, therefore they are scheduled to invest in several streams deliver mainly gas from different suppliers. Even those are not sources only for electricity; they are part of the energy mix, and finally also able to produce electricity power.

  1. What is the Government stance and what are the ongoing/envisaged actions towards generation of electricity from the different broad groups of sources: nuclear /fossil /renewable energy?

Hydroelectricity:

Hungary is a country with poor possibilities in renewable energies. As the country has only a small number of smaller hills, there is no real possibility to have a serious number of water power stations. The Danube – which is the greatest river in Hungary - would be the greatest potential for the hydroelectric industry. http://static.vd.hu/db/0C/D6/forro-2011-02-d00003CD66500691203f1.pdf, http://www.alternativenergia.hu/rethelyi-nem-tamogatja-a-vizlepcsok-epiteset/33386, but the government does not plan to build or support any water power station. In cooperation with the Slovakian and Rumanian government the aim is to maintain even improve the water quality especially of the Danube, therefore developing water power station would be contrary to the interregional “renaturing” strategy.

On the other side, another source says there was a communication towards the EU that the government will invest into a greater 600-700 MW water power station developed by MVM, the location and related costs are not published yet. http://www.alternativenergia.hu/nagy-vizeromut-kapna-az-mvm/40022

ÉMÁSZ-ELMŰ modernize its water power station in Felsődobsza (HU311) thus doubling the production capacity. http://www.alternativenergia.hu/vizi-eromuvet-korszerusit-az-emasz-borsodban/39964

Nuclear Power:

The Sustainable Development Committee of the Parliament supports the extension of the nuclear power plant in Paks (HU233), which is the greatest energy source (with 15.761 GWh in 2010) in Hungary. However the members of the Committee underline the importance of the accurate analyses and long term impact studies. The nuclear power plant provides up to 40% of the electricity power need in Hungary.

http://static.vd.hu/db/0C/D6/forro-2011-02-d00003CD66500691203f1.pdf

Biomass:

Highly supported were until now the biomass power plants as one of the most reasonable form of RES in Hungary being an agricultural country. Now they are frightened by the changes of the subvention system and by the decreasing energy prices due to the crisis. (see 1.2.7)

Wind power:

Until the end of 2008 there were 71 wind power stations built in Hungary with the capacity of 127 kW. However the geographical location of the country and the undeclared circumstances of such industrial investments are negatively influencing the investors, who better turn to other countries where the administrative procedures and legal frames are clearly declared and easier to apply for.

http://www.energiaporta.hu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30%3Aszelenergiatermelesmagyarorszagon&catid=57%3Aelemzesek&Itemid=193&lang=hu

Sun power:

Hungary has great solar capabilities. The first sun power station has been established in 1975 in Hungary but the technology has not reached its highest capacities as the financial conditions are not given, the attitudes toward the solar power are not developed so far (the investment does not return in short term) and the feed-in tariffs are the lowest in the Central European region.

  1. What are the recent employment trends in the different subsectors of power generation according to the different broad groups of sources: nuclear/fossile/renewable energy? Please indicate development since 2005 with reference to generation, disribution, and sale separately.

There are no official data available on the RES industries’ employment.

http://statinfo.ksh.hu/Statinfo/haViewer.jsp

Private sectors employment
NACE 351 – Electricity production and distribution
 

Full time employees

Nace 351

Blue collar

Nace 351

White collar

Nace 351

Full time employees in the entire private sector

2008

15832

8924

6908

191437

2009

15408

8520

6888

163702

2010

14750

7817

6933

164622

2011 second quarter

14319

7562

6767

175666

Notes: data are only from the private sectors enterprises with more than 4 employees – other data are currently not available

Source: Central Statistical Office, KSH Statinfo, 2011 http://statinfo.ksh.hu/Statinfo/haViewer.jsp

http://portal.ksh.hu/pls/ksh/docs/hun/xftp/idoszaki/mo/mo2009.pdf

Annual production of industrial goods and services
In the electricity sector

Annual code of industrial products - ITO' 09

Manufacturers (piece)

Total sales revenues (1000 HUF)

Export sales revenues

(1000 HUF)

Domestic sales revenues (1000 HUF)

Total - ITO' 09

8031

25259444796

12733483324

12525961472

351= Electricity generation and supply

101

2832513957

47739813

2784774144

3511 Electricity generation

53

569874368

0

569874368

3512 Electricity transportation

 No data available

 No data available

 No data available

 No data available

3513 Electricity distribution

37

412789941

0

412789941

Notes 2008

Source: Hungarian Central Statistical Office KSH, Statinfo database

1.2. Government policy for increase of the share of renewable resources according to the RES directive

http://portal.ksh.hu/pls/ksh/docs/hun/xftp/gyor/jel/jel309052.pdf

The Strategy calls for rebuilding the government's role in Hungary's energy affairs, asserting that strengthening the state role is the only way to meet the goals of the Strategy, among them to guarantee the energy supply of household at affordable prices, the National Development Ministry said in a statement on the Strategy on 3 October 2011.

The government plans to set up a new institutional framework and system of tools in the field of energy, the ministry statement said.

  1. Are any subsidies being granted for different types of RES for electricity providers? If yes, please provide briefly the details

There are two kinds of subsidies available. The “feed-in-tariff” is a compensation paid by the consumer to support renewable energy.

Companies also offering electricity with 10% higher prices, the so called green tariff (“zöld tarifa”) for the eco-conscious customers thus covering a part of their investments.

The other one is the support of investments into RES. The most important one is the so called KEOP 4.3.0 for Renewable Energy Development Area programme in the frames of the New Hungary Development Plan. There were 6054 applications submitted and HUF 123 Billion granted. In general the support was max 50% of the cost for investment; local authorities were allowed to get a support of up to 90%. But these investments had not effectively improved employment in these areas as these are automatic systems; but the production of raw material and recycling processes could though improve slightly the local-regional employment.

In the frames of the New Széchenyi Plan Green-Economy Development Programme there were 1935 applications submitted and HUF 348 Million granted. With this support for example 151 new solar panel programmes have been started. The subvention is around HUF 7 Billion (EU 23 Million).

http://emir.nfu.hu/nd/kozvel/?link=uszt_1_1&sc=2&ml=1&sr=238&offset=9&id_op=8&id_paly_altip=-1

http://www.alternativenergia.hu/napelem-park-epul-debrecenben/39601

However the government aims to put the subsidies being granted for different types of RES on an entirely new basic. The new system would an incentive system which takes account the national specialities into the final objectives in connection with the sustainability and national economic considerations.

The aims:

  • A combined heat and power system support (“hőbónusz”, “barnatarifa”)
  • Stringent forest sustainability criteria for forest biomass
  • Upper size limit for each energy source
  • Differentiated delivery price by technology and size limits
  • Additional bonuses in terms of national economics interests
  • Establishment of minimum standards of efficiency
  • Establishment of regional sustainability criteria
  • Establishment of two-year cyclic compartmentalized allocation quotas
  • Stringent control of the entitlement in such subsidies

Source: NFM, Klíma- és energiaügyért Felelős Államtitkárság: Szabályozási koncepció - a megújuló- és alternatív energiaforrásokból előállított hő- és villamos energia kötelező átvételi rendszerről, Budapest, 2011

Between 2008 and 2010 there has been a so called “Green investment program”, which were financed by selling Kyoto-Quota and using the income ( HUF 40 Billion, EUR 130 Million until 2010) for strengthening energy effectiveness in public and private buildings in the frames of the Green Investment System (Zöld Beruházási Rendszer).

http://palyazatok.org/tag/zold-beruhazasi-program/

http://www.alternativenergia.hu/ujabb-ketmillio-tonna-szendioxid-kvotat-ertekesitett-a-kvvm/15525

  1. Have subsidies for RES been cut recently? Was this a result of the crisis, of budget constraints, or the result of a policy revision (following a policy assessment, due to a disporportionate use of subsidies, etc.)? Please provide brief details.

Yes, indirectly, the electricity prices have decreased and the subsidies’ quotations have been changed. The new subsidies system is not completed yet. Many of the power plants are under financial pressure, not all of them can await the 1-2 years period of system change. There are no further alternative power plants planned to be built before having the national subsidies system clarified and finalized. There is a significant market uncertainty by now.

http://www.vg.hu/vallalatok/energia/evekig-nem-epul-uj-biomassza-eromu-360664

  1. Are there any other forms of support foreseen for promoting electricity generation of RES?

The government aims to facilitate administration of introduction of new technologies, to review the rules and frames of such investments. A review of information transfer to consumers, attitude and awareness programmes, research activities are also envisaged by the Strategy.

  1. Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding the state of play and the future prospects of RES in your country.

The Trade Unions representative mentioned the following important consideration: in Hungary there is a high unemployment and a great economical downturn (due to the crisis) by now; the fact that the RES investments are capital-intensive and require few employees goes against the national interests in increasing overall employment and is not adequate to the disposable financial potentials.

Another important aspect of any industrial investments or actions is drawn by the following example: There has been a plan in 2010 to build a straw-burning power plant in Szerencs (HU311) which town is a part of the World Heritage programme of the UNESCO. In this case the international cultural interest was confronted by the RES investment. UNESCO has made big efforts together with some local initiatives to protect the world heritage at that area. The issue is still ongoing.

http://www.szerencs.hu/varosi-rendezvenyek/1875-lehetseges-kompromisszum...

1.3. Are there any studies and documents assessing the employment impact of energy policies and of prospective changes in the energy mix within the electricity sector? This could include, for instance,

  1. Employment effects resulting from the unbundling of activities (production from distribution)

Employment in the last twenty years has decreased significantly in the sector. In the 90’s there were around 40 000 employees. The privatisation has cut half the employment by the beginning of the new century, and the private companies have optimized their workforce. In 2006 following the international trends the supplier services (accounting, administrations, and customer services) have been outsourced. Now there are less than 20 000 employees in the sector. So that during the crises actually no further major dismissals was possible – according to the Trade Unions representative.

However we have to admit that the decreasing prices made some power plants impossible to run. For example the Coal Power plant Vértes Erőmű (-800 employees, HU211, FS 15828) needed to announce bankruptcy and to choose a restructuring plan to keep employees. The plant will run until 2014 but mining must be ended by the end of 2012.

At the same time some investments are being announced in the RES industries, like Orient Solar (+300 employees, HU321, FS17346), Solar Energy Systems (+108 employees, HU231, FS 17393) or Pannonpower Holding straw-burning power plant (+150, HU231, from the end of 2012). http://www.alternativenergia.hu/150-embernek-ad-munkat-az-uj-biomassza-eromu/39814

Some biomass and solar energy plants are also starting production with 10-20 employees in late 2011 - as per announcements in the media.

  1. Employment effects (on quantity and quality of work) resulting from the possible shifts within the electricity production sector from traditional sources to RES

The Strategy mentions the importance of the green collars employment at small and medium sized enterprises according to the local resources, capacities and requirements. However the Strategy does not describe a detailed employment strategy, subvention system. It says the administrative burdens have to be decreased and that the government will introduce subventions with best effort towards green collar employment and a sustainable green energy production.

  1. Employment effects from investments in infrastructure (renewal of grids, introduction of smart meter technology, district heating)

No data/information available

  1. The need for retraining of workers or provision of new qualifications linked to the sector transformations

No data/information available

  1. Possible spatial mobility of workers as a result of more decentralised production (linked both to new activities and to restructuring of existing ones)

No data/information available

  1. Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding prospective impacts on employment and industrial relations

RES is not work force intensive at all. Therefore neither the government, which aims to improve employment in general is forcing strongly the development of RES, nor are the social partners really interested in RES. Mainly ecologically sensitive groups of society have an interest in RES and some local community, which understand, that even 20 – 30 new workplaces are an advantage for the given region.

1.4 To what extent are the social partners involved or consulted concerning the governmental energy policy, notably in relation to employment impacts? Has this happened on an ad-hoc basis or on a structural, permanent basis? Is there a special tripartite social dialogue body for such consultations? Did consultation take place at national level, at sector level, or at the initiative of individual companies? Please briefly provide details.

In the course of preparing the Strategy, the Ministry of National Development took account of and incorporated proposals made by more than a hundred significant - business, scientific, professional and social - stakeholders of the energy sector – such as the Hungarian Energy Office (Magyar Energia Hivatal, MEH), the Economic Research Institute (Gazdaságkutató Intézet, GKI, www.gki.hu ), the Institute of Transport Science Nonprofit Ltd (Közlekedéstudományi Intézet Nonprofit Zrt., KTI, http://www.kti.hu/index.php/home ). As well as about 60 comments made during the online public consultation at the website of the Ministry of National Development. During finalisation the Strategy an economic feasibility study and a strategic environmental impact analysis will also be prepared for the National Energy Strategy.

Social partners have taken part in these discourses as well. However the Trade Unions are not outspokenly consulted in professional issues, only in labour related ones.

2. Composition, structure and employment trends for the different resources used for electricity production

2.1 Please give an overview of the current sectoral composition of electricity production in your country, by giving for each of these seven groups of energy sources, the NAME of the three largest producing, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

For all companies listed, as a summary, please indicate:

  1. Total production and its distribution across different energy sources

No data available

  1. Total employment and its distribution across different energy sources

No data available

  1. Production plants and their respective energy source(s)

No data available

Electricity production

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

FOSSIL FUELS

Mátrai Erőmű Zrt.

Mátrai Erőmű Visonta

876

(other plants – belonging to Mátrai Erőmű:

Bükkábrány 574

Central maintenance 138 )

2011

From BDSZ database received officially from Mátrai Erőmű

Private

Vértesi Erőmű ZRt.

Vértesi Erőmű Oroszlány Bánya 690

Anyagellátó 101

2011

From BDSZ database received officially from Vértesi Erőmű

Private

MOL

     
NUCLEAR

Paks

2657

2007

Private

http://www.google.hu/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=foglalkoztatotti%20l%C3%A9tsz%C3%A1m%20a%20paksi%20atomer%C5%91m%C5%B1ben&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prenergia.hu%2Fleg%2Ffiles%2Fpa.ppt&ei=exaoTtb3DsbFtAbz95nFDQ&usg=AFQjCNGR-OUg3IVdmtQcoXsKupnKAB5pUQ&cad=rja

       
       
HYDRO        
       
       

WIND

http://www.mszet.hu/index.php?mid=53

Gamesa

Market share 55%

World wide 7200

2011

Private

Vestas

Market share 31%

500

2010

Privatehttp://www.alternativenergia.hu/vestas-szeleromuparkok-novekszik-magyaro...

Repower

Market share 7%

Worldwide

2500

   
BIOMASS        
       
       
PHOTO-VOLTAIC        
       
       

2.2 Please provide an overview of the current organisation of electricity distribution in your country. Is there a single distributing company/body? Are there multiple companies? At national or territorial level?

There are multiple distributing companies which are regionally organized. However not there is the free right to choose a provider company for the customers to secure a competition in the market.

2.3 Please indicate the NAME of the three largest distributing companies, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

Distribution companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

Distribution GRID

RWE

5158

2010

Private

E-on Hungary is distributing electricity and gas mostly in wholesale but also in retail trade. It provides around 3 million customers with energy (2,5 electricity customers and 0,5 million gas customers).

4927

2010

Private

       

2.4. Where there any significant developments/changes since 2008 for a specific company or source of electricity production in numbers of employees or in their public/private status? Was this due to the current economic crisis? Were there any instances of unbundling or mergers? With what consequences in terms of employment and industrial relations?

Not really. The privatisation has been started in the 90’s (only 50,% of workforce remained) the outsourcing of administrative and service activities have happened in 2006 and 2007 (reduction of workforce by 5-10%). Since that service and administration are not anymore Nace 351

3. Industrial relations in the electricity sector: Actors

3.1 Please provide details on the membership in the electricity sector and membership of the top 3 producing and distributing companies in employer’s organisation (see questions 2.1-2.3 above). Please provide information on the name of the trade unions organising in this subsector and the level of their membership, or otherwise provide overall data but please include indications on differences in membership densities across subsectors.

Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(largest 3 in market share)

Membership to employers organisation

(indicate the name of the relevant employers organisation)

Trade union presence per sub-sector

(indicate the name of trade union(s) and the level of their membership in this subsector companies)

FOSSIL FUELS

Mátrai Erőmű Zrt.

(13-14%)

Hungarian Miners Association

President: Dr. József Valaska

Mátrai Erőmű Zrt. Union, Member of Mining and Energy Industry Workers’ Union.

www.bdsz.hu

80% organized

There is the sectoral collective agreement and an indefinite term local collective agreement

Vértesi Erőmű ZRt.

(1-3%)

Hungarian Miners Association

Managing director: Dr. József Magyar

Oroszlányi Bánya- és Energiaipai Dolgozók Szakszervezete Oroszlányi Mining and Energy Industry Workers’ Union

88% organized

There is the sectoral collective agreement and an indefinite term local collective agreement

MOL

   
NUCLEAR

Paks

   
     
     
HYDRO      
     
     
WIND

Gamesa

Market share 55%

   

Vestas

Market share 31%

   

Repower

Market share 7%

   
BIOMASS      
     
     
PHOTO-VOLTAIC      
     
     
And in the distributing companies

Distribution GRID

companies

RWE

   

E-on

   
     

3.2 To what extent are employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) covered by trade union representation? Has there been any impact of the crisis on trade union representation?

The trade union Federation of Electricity workers’ Unions (EVDSZ - www.vd.hu/) and the Mining and Energy Industry Workers’ Union (BDSZ – www.banyasz.hu) claims to cover all employees in the sector; however the employees of the RES industries are not really organized yet. There are very few employees in the RES industries yet, decentralised working in SME’s therefore organizing them – according to the Trade Unionist of EVDSZ – is not really a priority. As the BDSZ is mainly organizing miners, there is no intention to organise RES employees neither.

3.3 Have there been major reorganisations/splits/mergers of trade unions or employers organisations in the sector during the last five years?

EDVSZ has left the Alliance of Autonomous Trade Unions (Autonóm Szakszervezetek Szövetsége, ASZSZ) and joined the Democratic League of Independent Trade Unions (Független Szakszervezetek Demokratikus Ligája, LIGA) in 2007, but there have been no inner-sectoral changes in the reported period.

3.4. Have new actors (trade unions or employers organisations) been founded in recent years, especially in the newly evolving RES industries? Or is the industry covered by established actors?

No, the employment in the RES industries is not significant, thus not organised at all.

3.5. Have the established sectoral actors (both trade unions and employer organisations) started any initiative to extend their representation to the new emerging parts of the sector? Please describe such initiatives and their results so far.

In terms of the extended collective agreement all employees are covered. For now the Trade Unions are struggling to keep their employees and to protect them, they do not really have capacities to organize in the RES industries.

The given economical and political environment does not support such initiatives. (see articles HU1107021I The government stops consulting unions on minimum wages; HU1106021I Deregulation plan to boost jobs; HU1012011I Extension of governmental power in Hungary)

4. Role of collective bargaining and social dialogue

4.1 Please provide information on the structure of collective bargaining in the electricity sector. Please, briefly mention the main characteristics of collective bargaining:

  1. At what level are collective agreements within the subsectors of the electricity sector (traditional providers, newly emerging providers) concluded (company, sectoral level and/or inter-sectoral level)? Is there a difference between the producers and the distributors?

http://www.tpk.org.hu/engine.aspx?page=tpk_Villamosenergia-ipari_Agazati_Bemutatkozunk

There is a Sub-Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (Villamosipari Alágazati Párbeszéd Bizottság, VAÁPB) in which the Alliance of Electricity Sectors Employers’ Associations (Villamosenergia-ipari Társaságok Munkaadói Szövetsége, VMTSZ), the Federation of Electricity workers’ Unions (Egyesült Villamosenergia-ipari Dolgozók Szakszervezeti Szövetsége, EVDSZ) and the Mining and Energy Industry Workers’ Union (Bánya- és Energiaipari Dolgozók Szakszervezete, BDSZ) are participating. Its secretary is paid by the Ministry. Recently the ministry does not accept the invitation on its meetings, conferences, forums, and the central subventions have been reduced due to the states budget rationalizations in the times of the economic crisis.

As the employers are being in competition at the market they are not allowed/willing to discuss professional issues within the VAÁPB, and their status agreement does not allow differently. In the frames of the VAÀPB only employment related issues like collective agreement, wage agreement, strike issues are being negotiated, but do not include professional discursion. However the Trade Union suggests including professional issues into the work plan of VAÁPB. This was not supported by the employers. In some cases they are taking part but fundamentally are not involved into the discourses.

Such discourses are for example the setting up of safety committees (munkavédelmi bizottságok), a wage-committee dealing with health care cash registers (egészségpènztár), sport agreements, strike rules; international conferences, workshops. In these fields EVDSZ is active also at international level.

The VAÁPB does not distinguish between producers and distributors.

  1. Estimate the coverage rate of collective bargaining in terms of companies and employees: are there any differences in coverage across different subsectors of electricity production?

There is an extended collective agreement, renewed in 2008, covering all employees (100%) in the sector and its subsectors. There is also a wage agreement yearly bargained and signed by the social partners. This wage agreement has been extended throughout the sector on annual bases; however the administrative burdens, the changing administrative and legal environment did not allow to extend it to all employees in the sector in 2011. It covers now only the members of social partner organisations.

4.2 Please comment on the most recent collective agreements reached at sector level and at company level. Please address the following topics:

  1. Pay and working time: level and trends relative to the national average and significant differences across subsectors of the electricity industry.

As mentioned before the extended sectoral collective agreement has been renewed in 2008 and the wage agreements are signed on annual bases. Only in 2011 the wage agreement could not been extended.

In 2011 the sectoral wage agreement assures a minimum of HUF 84000 (EUR 288) for all the employees in the sector- compared to the national minimum wage: HUF 78000 (EUR 276). For the employees with vocational education it assures HUF 100000 (EUR 343), for the once with professional education HUF 124000 (EUR 425) in the sector - compared to the national guaranteed minimum wages for employees with vocational education are HUF 94000 (EUR 322) since 1 January 2011, and for employees with university diploma HUF 155200 (EUR 532) in the sector.

The working time is set for regulatory 40 hours a week; however local collective agreements can set shorter working times. In stand-by operations the working time can be longer, but may not exceed 12 hour a day, which must be agreed between employer and employee in the local collective agreement. The share of dangerous activities in the daily operation may be regulated also by the local collective agreement to avoid accidents.

  • Cooperation between the social partners and government
  1. Have the government started any social dialogue or social concentration in the electricity sector since 2008? Please illustrate the features and results of any such initiatives.

No. A broader discussion has been initiated by the government concerning the Strategy adopted by the parliament by 2011 but not directly issued employment strategies. Dialogue on the future of the electricity sector was provided publicly by voluntarily sending comments of everybody who was interested into this issue to a webportal run by the government http://www.kormany.hu/hu/dok?page=3&source=7&type=302#!DocumentBrowse. Suggestions and questions were to send to the metar@nfm.gov.hu address.

  1. Have bipartite and/or tripartite bodies dealing with specific issues of the electricity industry been created since 2008?

No specifically. There has been the National Interest Reconciliation Council (Országos Érdekegyeztető Tanács, OÉT) in which Liga has represented also the interests of the EVDSZ.

Recently the Hungarian government has been replaced the tripartite interest reconciliation system by a new body, the National Economic and Social Council (NGTT).

  1. Have there been since 2008 any joint initiatives of cooperation between social partners to influence or steer the energy policy developed by the government in your country? Or have such initiatives been taken separately by certain social partner organisations?

No, there was no joint action taken to influence the energy policy as the social partners are only discussing employment related issues jointly. Nevertheless social partners introduced their positions by pro-active consulting the government.

  1. Have the social partners been involved in the making of the national action plan to reach the 2020 target, or in issues aiming to secure the supply of enough electricity?

No, not formally but both partners used their networks to introduce their positions and lobby for their interests.

4.4. Please provide information about the views of the trade unions and employer organisations on the main changes regarding employment and working conditions affecting the sector since 2008 and especially on the impact of the current crisis (for instance on employment trends, quality of jobs, working hours, wages, fixed-term employment, part-time, temporary agency work, participation in training, outsourcing, subcontracting etc.).

http://static.vd.hu/db/0C/D6/forro-2011-02-d00003CD66500691203f1.pdf

The negative consequences of the last year's crisis-taxes’ introduction (which was partially reasonable to solve the states budget burdens) and the reduction of FIT by 15 % from 1 January 2011 are decreasing the power plants liquidity and investments. As a result, the plants are forced to significant cost reduction means to rationalise or stop the already-planned investments. This applies to all kinds of electricity production (green or brown or co-generation production).

The relevant organizations, including the Hungarian Co-generation Power Plants Association (MKET), the Biomass Power Plant Association (BEE), as well as domestic green energy investors’ representing Hungary Renewable Energy Association (MMESZ) primarily allege that opposite changes and intensions to the former professional consultation and compromises appeared on the website of the Parliament.

The feed-in-tariffs of biomass power plants are significantly dropping by the changes in the concept, saying that bricks larger than 8cm are getting out from the definition of biomass power plants. The immediate adoptaion of this concept would undercut directly the operation of the biomass power plants in Pécs, Tiszapalkonya, Borsod and many co-generation power plants.

These organizations are also critisising the plan of the government to annually determine the prices of heating and to get a general-unified customer fee across the country. This would also undermin the operation of co-generating power plants and would generat unsecure supply of customers.

Social partners also feel offended by the fact, that their opinions and recommendations felt on deaf ears during the finalisation of the Strategy.

International stakeholders, not only in this sector in the Hungarian market -Aegon, Axa, Allianz, Baumax, CEZ, E.ON, EnBW, ING, OMV, Rewe, RWE, Spar és a Telekom - feel offended by the crisis-taxes introduced by the government and turned to the European Authorities to supervise the given situation and measurements in Hungary.

http://static.vd.hu/db/0E/C8/forrodrot-2010-02-d00001EC81a4b6fda58c0.pdf

http://static.vd.hu/db/0C/D6/forro-2011-02-d00003CD66500691203f1.pdf

http://static.vd.hu/db/0B/98/forrodrot-2011-01-d00003B9814c7c19ddd9c.pdf

5. Commentary

The Hungarian National Energy Strategy has just been submitted to the Parliament; it highlights the importance of the RES sources, and claims to improve employability in the entire sector. However the (few) statistics and the social partners’ statements do not interpret its importance by now. The respected Trade unions prefer to represent large entities, willing to represent mass employments’ interests; in SMEs they do not see a chance to organize the employees. The employers’ organisations are mainly representing large companies. The lobby of the employers is stronger than the employees’ representatives’ and employers try to keep this privilege by withholding the social negotiations on the employment related issues only.

Ildikó Krén, Zsuzsa Rindt, Solution4.org