Enabling Social Dialogue
Duration: October 2011 – September 2014
Funded by: Dutch Trade Union Federation, FNV, the Dutch Employers’ Cooperation Programme, DECP
Partners: Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA); the Confederation of Trade Unions (COTU) and the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE); TUCTA, Trade Unions Congress of Tanzania and ATE, Association of Tanzanian Employers
Project Management: Wage Indicator Foundation, Paulien Osse
Promoting Social Dialogue is an objective in the Decent Work Agenda as elaborated by the ILO, and adopted by employers’ and employees’ organisations worldwide.
Social Dialogue in Africa is not a new phenomenon, but given the socio-economic situation, it can be argued that its functioning leaves room for improvement. The basis of any effective Social Dialogue is solid, reliable information for policy discussions and decision making. While the Netherlands, and the majority of high income countries have an extensive statistical, and research capacity on virtually all segments of civil society, this is not the case for many African countries. Wage data, reliable, up to date, (and internationally comparable) are hard to come by. Yet this is key information for a better Social Dialogue.
This is where the Wage Indicator comes in with its real wage information. This data can be shared with stakeholders, like employees, employers, governments and organisations of informal workers. Wage Indicator actively cooperates with all these stakeholders with the prime aim to answer questions related to: 1. real wages, and real working conditions on the basis of its scientific surveys and: 2. contract wages/Minimum Wages and Labour Law.
In its efforts to become an inclusive research tool for wage information, Wage Indicator has been from its start designed to service both the informal and formal sector. Given the response from its web users Wage Indicator decided to extend its outreach by including information on Labour Law and official Minimum Wages, a shortlist of the Decent Work Agenda put forward by the ILO. Wage Indicator in the present proposal offers its expertise on real wages, Minimum Wages and Labour Law to sub-Saharan African countries in East and West. Because it believes it can make a difference there.
Built in the Wage Indicator concept from its onset was close cooperation with Trade Unions, Universities and media, like large newspapers and popular web portals. More recent best practices have learnt that governmental labour departments, and employers’ organisations should be targeted with relevant data as well. This considerably extends the potential impact of Wage Indicator data and services, especially when linked to shared themes and platforms.
The present proposal thus falls under the all embracing Social Dialogue concept, the project’s umbrella. The time line distinguishes 3 phases.
The first phase is dedicated mainly to data collection with a special emphasis on real wages and real working conditions through national websites with salary surveys. Offline salary surveys will guarantee that some occupation groups without internet access will be covered too. In addition, inventories of Minimum Wages and of national Labour Law are compiled, and will be used in turn to develop online and offline Decent Work Checks by comparing the national data with the relevant ILO’s Decent Work clauses.
In the second phase the collected data – insight in reality of wages and working conditions and Labour Law - is used as the basis for awareness raising amongst stakeholders, multi-stakeholder debates and public media campaigns.
The third phase focuses on implementation of results. It is aimed at increasing compliance with existing Labour Law, the extension of its outreach into the informal economy, and the provision of input for social partners, i.e. employers, employees, as well as the government, to allow for a more effective Social Dialogue.
Wage Indicator is proud to manage this project in which the Dutch Trade Union Federation, FNV, the Dutch Employers’ Cooperation Programme, DECP and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as (back) donors will work together. As such the project may serve as a fine example of Social Dialogue in action.