Glossary

B
Best practice

C
Collective bargaining
Copenhagen Declaration
Competence*

E
European social model
European Qualification Framework for lifelong learning (EQF)*

K
Knowledge*

L
Learning outcomes/Learning attainments*
Lobbying

Q
Qualification*

N
National Collective Agreement

R
Representativeness

S
Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee
Skill*
Skill gap
Skill shortage
Social partners

U
Umbrella organisation

V
Vocational education and training (VET)*


Best practice


A best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result. A commitment to using the best practices in any field is a commitment to using all the knowledge and technology at one's disposal to ensure success. The term is used frequently in the fields of health care, government administration, the education system, project management, hardware and software product development, and elsewhere.


Collective bargaining


Collective bargaining serves a dual purpose. It provides a means of determining the wages and conditions of work applying to the group of workers covered by the ensuing agreement through free and voluntary negotiations between the two independent parties concerned. It also enables employers and workers to define by agreement the rules governing their relationship. These two aspects of the bargaining process are closely interrelated. Collective bargaining takes place between an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers' organisations on the one hand and one or more workers' organisations on the other. It may take place at many different levels, with one level sometimes complementing the other: a unit within an enterprise, enterprise level, sectoral, regional and national level.

Collecting bargaining can be advantageous for both workers and employers. For workers, collective bargaining, more so than individual employment relations, ensures adequate wages and working conditions by providing them with a "collective voice". It also allows them to influence personnel decisions and to achieve a fair distribution of gains from technological progress and productivity increases. For employers, collective bargaining helps to stabilise industrial relations by maintaining industrial peace that otherwise may be disrupted by labour unrest. Through collective bargaining employers can also address the need for adjustment to facilitate modernisation and restructuring. Contrary to the conventional belief, an ILO study (Ozaki ed. 1999) argued that collective bargaining has been one of the main consensual means of introducing labour market flexibility in many countries.


Copenhagen Declaration


The Copenhagen Declaration


The 10 Commitments in the Copenhagen Declaration on social development:
1. create an economic, political, social, cultural and legal environment that will enable people to achieve social development,
2. eradicate absolute poverty by a target date to be set by each country,
3. support full employment as a basic policy goal,
4. promote social integration based on the enhancement and protection of all human rights,
5. achieve equality and equity between women and men,
6. attain universal and equitable access to education and primary health care,
7. accelerate the development of Africa and the least developed countries,
8. ensure that structural adjustment programmes include social development goals,
9. increase resources allocated to social development,
10. strengthen cooperation for social development through the UN.


Competence*


The ability to apply learning outcomes adequately in a defined context (education, work, personal or professional development).


European social model


"The European Social Model – myth or reality?" by Anna Diamantopoulou, Commissioner responsible for Employment and Social Affairs, Bournemouth (UK), 29 September 2003


European Qualification Framework for lifelong learning (EQF)*


A reference tool for the description and comparison of qualification levels in qualifications systems developed at national, international or sectoral level.


Knowledge*


The outcome of the assimilation of information through learning. Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices that is related to a field of study or work. (based on "Cedefop (2008) Terminology of European Education and Training policy"- EOSE Glossary)


Learning outcomes/Learning attainments*


The set of knowledge, skills and/or competences an individual has aquired and/or is able to demonstrate after completion of a learning process, either formal, non-formal or informal.


Lobbying


Practice and profession of influencing governmental decisions, carried out by agents who present the concerns of special interests to legislators and administrators. The term originated in the United States of the 1830s, when representatives of interest groups tended to congregate in the lobbies of Congress and state legislatures. It is now used in a broader sense to include attempts to influence any governmental actions.


Qualification*


The term qualification covers different aspects : (a) formal qualification: the formal outcome (certificate, diploma or title) of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards and/or possesses the necessary competence to do a job in a specific area of work. A qualification confers official recognition of the value of learning outcomes in the labour market and in education and training. A qualification can be a legal entitlement to practice a trade (OECD); (b) job requirements: the knowledge, aptitudes and skills required to perform the specific tasks attached to a particular work position (ILO).


National Collective Agreement


A NCA is an agreement concluded by one or more employers or registered associations of employers and one or more registered associations of employees, concerning the conditions to be complied with in contracts of employment or in employment generally. It provides the basis for collective bargaining at branch level. It is the result of a compromise which takes account of the demands made by both the employees' and employers' representatives.

"Association of employers", or "employer organisation" means any association whose specific objects include that of safeguarding the employers' interests in the matter of employment; and "association of employees", or "trade union" means any association whose specific objects include that of safeguarding the employees' interests in the matter of employment.


Representativeness


The question of the representativeness of the organisations is fundamental as it constitutes the basis of their legitimacy for consultation by the Commission and for their contractual commitments. According to the criteria defined by the Commission, the social partner organisations, in order to be eligible for consultation, must:
– be cross–industry, or relate to specific sectors or categories and be organised at European level;
– consist of organisations which are themselves an integral and recognised part of Member States' social partner structures and with the capacity to negotiate agreements, and which are representative of all Member States, as far as possible;
– have adequate structures to ensure the effective participation in the consultation process.



Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee



Creation of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Commitees

At sectoral level, the social dialogue underwent an important development in 1998, when the Commission decided on the establishment of sectoral dialogue committees – Commission decision of 20 May 1998 on the establishment of sectoral dialogue committees promoting the dialogue between the social partners at European level. The document laid down precise provisions concerning the establishment, representativeness and operation of new sectoral committees, intended as central bodies for consultation, joint initiatives and negotiation.
The sectoral social dialogue committees are established with due regard for the autonomy of the social partners. The social partner organisations must apply jointly to the European Commission in order to take part in a social dialogue at European level. The European organisations representing employers and workers must, when submitting this application, meet a number of criteria (cf. "representativeness")


Composition of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees

The sectoral social dialogue committees consist of a maximum of 50 representatives of the social partners, comprising an equal number of employers' and workers' representatives. They are chaired either by a representative of the social partners or, at their request, by the representative of the Commission, who, in all cases, provides the secretariat for the committees.


Operation of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees

Each Committee adopts its own rules of procedure, and holds at least one plenary meeting per year, dealing with more specific questions at meetings of enlarged secretariats or restricted working parties. The task of preparing meetings, the agenda and following–up work is most frequently delegated to the respective secretariats of the social partners, together with the Commission.


Skill*


The ability to perform tasks and solve problems.


Skill gap


It is an internal problem, when a company might require a new skill such as speaking Croatian, and no one within the organisation currently has this skill. This problem can be solved by recruitment or training.


Skill shortage


It is a market/external problem, when the company cannot find people with a particular skill e.g. who speak Croatian, in the market place, despite offering a good salary, conditions etc…


Social partners


The term "social partners" encompasses a variety of entities acting at different levels (European, national, regional, local and enterprise) which are by no means a homogeneous group (Barnard, 2002). However, they are understood here to represent trade union and employer organisations.

Clearly, the social partners hold a unique position in civil society, for they are "best placed to address issues related to work and can negotiate binding agreements" (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2003b).
This specific position gives them a monopoly on decisions regarding action within a company. Working conditions issues are thus dealt with by trade unions or staff representatives and by management representatives, either through institutionalised bodies (works councils or ad hoc committees) or in the context of industrial disputes, and their corresponding processes of negotiation.
The legitimacy of the social partners' action is based on their representativeness and this legitimacy empowers them to negotiate agreements. The union's effectiveness depends on its capacity to bind a large number of workers by means of negotiations and agreements.

At European level, too, the social partners occupy a unique position and one which has changed considerably in recent years. "In the past, the social partners reacted to the Commission's initiatives, but they have now become genuine partners in establishing European social standards" (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2003b).


Umbrella organisation


An organization that represents and supports separate smaller bodies with common interests.


Vocational education and training (VET)*


Education and training which aims to equip people with knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences required in particular occupations or more broadly on the labour market.


* Extracts from EOSE Glossary (November 2009), based on "Cedefop (2008) Terminology of European Education and Training policy"


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Database social partners

Database of the employer and employee organisations in the EU25 (as of 31.12.2006)

Statement on EU social dialogue in the sport sector, 12th Dec. 2012

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