On 10th December, the Social Employers and EPSU hosted together with their national partner NASO (National Alliance for Social Responsibility) an event in Sofia that discussed the state of play of sectoral social dialogue in the Bulgarian social services sector.
The event was organised in the framework of DialogueS, a project that aims to build capacity for national and EU-level sectoral social dialogue in social services. After an introduction to the project, its main objectives and deliverables, a representative of Bulgaria’s Agency for Social Assistance gave an overview on how social services provision and the social dialogue in the sector is organised in Bulgaria. Participants included representatives of NASO, the Social Assistance Agency and the municipality of Sofia.
Social services are mostly provided by the public sector, even though there is a recent expansion of the for-profit/ not-for-profit sectors. Among the main challenges mentioned are the low wage levels as a result of budget-cuts, which lead to difficulties in retaining workers, who oftentimes leave to work in other sectors.
Social dialogue structures in Bulgaria are relatively new. Formal tripartite social dialogue structures, such as the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation and the Sectoral Council for Tripartite Cooperation, were set up after 1990. Collective agreement coverage in the social services sector is low (25%). To date, there is no representative employers’ organisation in the country.
The outcomes of the meeting will be turned into a report on the state of play of sectoral social dialogue in social services and the main workforce trends and challenges in Bulgaria, to be finalised by the end of the project.
For details about the DialogueS project, click here.
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