SLOVENIA NATIONAL REPORT, May 2018,
Združenje dramskih umetnikov Slovenije (Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists)
We expect early elections on June 3rd, actual National Assembly was elected on July 13th, 2014. There are 25 parties involved in the competition, what represents the greatest number since declaration of independence. A hard struggle between left and right block is expected, the result of vote is I questionable.
Political campaign of parties mention culture as marginal subject, priority themes are privatization of public property and banks, migrant policy, reform of National Health System, tax system, changes of labour legislation (in 2015 poverty rate 14.3%, level of social exclusion 19.2%, 287.000 persons lived in poverty).
In 2009 was the last time we had highest budget for culture. In 2008 reached Collective Agreement in Public Sector promoted equalization of salaries, employed in sector, so government was forced to raise the culture budget that year to 204 million Euro. The budget of culture due to crisis has decreased heavily. In 2015 the budget was down to 145 million. In 2017 the current Minister of Culture was forced to raise the budget and it went up to 157 million. Most of this money was used only to cover the lack of salaries that has been created during the financial crisis. Slovenia at the moment has one of the highest economic growths in Europe (4,2%), yet in culture we don’t experience the benefits of this growth. Because of the fiscal rules we will not reach the budget we had in 2009 until 2025. We are assuming this is the reason that commercial sector is now being stimulated.
Non-governmental sector is mostly financed by call for application. These funds give less money each year while having higher, more complicated and more demanding requirements that are becoming difficult to fulfil. In last budget Ministry allocated 4,5 million EUR for non-governmental area, in live performance field the correlation is 50 million to 1,3 million. Our evidence shows there are about 2500 self-employed workers. 30 % are below poverty line, next 50% earn what equals minimum wage and only about 20% of the self-employed reach somewhat more normal living conditions. In non-governmental sector do not exist collective agreements, interested stakeholders do not have the right to form its own representative unions. We are trying to achieve a change in the self-employed status, so they may organise in TU, though the government – Ministry of Labour opposes to that request.
Further problem is that our employers are not organized in a representative social dialogue organisation. It seems Ministry of Culture has also taken on a roll of “the employer”, what doesn’t correspond to the challenge.
Precarious work affects all spheres of social life. Slovenia is among five EU members with highest rate of precarious employments, more than 41% of workers in atypical employments, 76.5% young people first-time employments are atypical (highest rate in EU). Risk of poverty rate among part-time employed increased to 13.4%, among self-employed to 27.9%. In Slovenia 17.3% of men and 41.1% of women work more than 70 hours per week. Proportionally also social exclusion rate increased to 18.4%. Only 22% of workers are included in TU, the rate declines because atypical employments rise.
The next data are very indicative: the government assessed share of precarious employments of active working population at 13 – 15%, professionals at 32%, NGOs at 42%, but Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia between 1.5 – 2.5%.
Slovenia has not accepted legal definition of precarious work, prohibition of lawless precarious work and National Strategy on Social Responsibility (recommended by EU).
The listed labour management relations are reflected also in culture and particularly vulnerable performing arts.
TU of Public Sector (including employees in culture and performing activities) and Government have begun bargaining for changes and amendments of Collective Agreement of Public sector in September 2017, social partners expected that the agreement will be signed at least at the end of December. But soon significant problems occurred, 35 representative TU of different activities (organised in two confederations) hardly achieved common positions, negotiating partners very differently assessed TU requirements (government over 900 million EUR, TU about 300 million). Fundamental requirements were: removing anomalies of payment system to Grade 26th, increase of salaries over Grade 26th, withdrawal of austerity measures including 8% salary cuts accepted in May 2012. Negotiations have affected already signed agreement of disproportionate increase of medical professions, tough positions of ministry of finances, later strikes of two confederations in January and February 2018, unnecessary delays and emotional approaches to the issues. Anyhow ,on March 12th, 2018 the negotiating partners have reached an agreement which was some hours later not initialled by governmental representative. On March 14thPrime Minister Miro Cerar resigned and later Government had stated that is no longer competent to continue negotiations.
Trade Unions, professional associations, non-governmental organizations and many other stakeholders in culture reflect their aspirations and requirements in pre-election campaign and addressed petition to the political parties, which signed many organisations, Tus and individuals, ZDUS is among them.
Common requirements of culture professionals before the elections
Since 2009, when Slovenia had the greatest budget for culture, drastic decline of financial means, frequent replacements of ministers increasingly less of professional and social dialogue among creators and decision makers have brought the situation of culture and arts to the brink of abyss. All sectors – public institutions, non-governmental sector, self –employed and amateur culture – are bursting at the seams. Artistic programmes, media and cultural heritage do suffer.
Lack of resources and consistent and development cultural policy must stop. That is, why culture professionals urge political parties and next government to fulfil following requirements.
Gradual degradation of culture and arts is unacceptable. Ministry of Culture is significant portfolio that earns adequate symbolic position and minister, empowered to any substantial changes.
Amending budget must return to the 2009 level (approximately 210 million EUR) or it should be 2% of GDP. From this point onwards should increase annually for 5%. Investments in GFCF and programmes are urgent.
Culture is a complex area, therefore needs a person who is aware of it, understands it and is ready for dialogue and compromise. Therefore from the new minister we expect dialogue, professionalism, acting FOR and not AGAINST culture and, where needed, relevant reorganization of ministry that can successfully act for welfare of culture and arts.
In the first two years we expect new National Program of Culture and new legislation, which will provide all challenging issues in culture. In this way, after years of conflicts and partial but inappropriate solutions, there is possibility that leads to success.
We expect the answers and unambiguous commitments to these questions from all political parties that intend to enter to the Parliament.
Education, Science and Culture Trade union of Slovenia addressed the political parties three main questions:
ATTITUDE AND APPLICATION OF YOUR PARTY TO CULTURAL SECTOR
Do you agreethat one of the priorities of next governments is to improve better operational conditions for cultural institutions of national heritage and artistic creation? If so, name the amount of public sources that Republic of Slovenia should provide in its’ budgets for culture in years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022!
Do you agreethat salary increases in upbringing and education should be analogically applied to the working places in culture?
Do you agreethat in specific fields of culture may be introduced norms and standards, enabling predictable professional workload?
Activities of ZDUS
During last year ZDUS has been affected by tragic loss of its president, and secondly by law provision of amending statute. Organizational process was concluded in December, when the new president and executive were elected. ZDUS is now led by Mrs. Saša Pavček, actress in Drama, Slovenian National Theatre.
Since ZDUS is organisation of theatrical professions and not TU, it is obvious that must cooperate with neighbouring organisations and trade unions in order to protect position and rights of members. Thus ZDUS developed good working relationship with numerous organisations (such as Slovenian Writers’ Association, Association of Theatre critics and Researchers of Slovenia, Directors Guild of Slovenia, Association of Theatrical Directors and others, AIPA – collective organisation, ZDUS hosts Slovenian ITI Centre) and with trade unions (about one fifth of ZDUS members are included in SVIZ – Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia, and approximately another fifth in GLOSA, TU of Culture, Slovenia). In last time ZDUS recognises SVIZ as more corresponding partner. In partnership with these representative stakeholders ZDUS helped to reject injurious proposals of National Programme of Culture and Public Interest of Culture Act, fought for better conditions of self-employed artists, for recognition of non-governmental cultural organisations, against precarious working employments, for renewed definition of cultural model.
Cooperation with SVIZ and AIPA financially supports that ZDUS without disturbance participates in FIA and SSDC LP and Audio visuals.
In December, 2017, the significant Slovenian actor Jernej Šugman died of heart attack. He was central personality of artistic image of Slovenian National Theatre, film maker, teacher and humanitarian. ZDUS has in short time established scholarship fund, named by Jernej Šugman that will help young artists in training programmes. First three scholarships will be presented in June 19th2018. This is an important decision, since scholarships for artistic professions decrease. Numerous individuals, private and public undertakers contribute to the fund.
Current state protection of the intellectual property rights of authors, performers and producers in their audiovisual works in Slovenia is at its lowest point.
The assignment of a license to collect blank tape levies by a collective management organization has been withheld for almost a decade. Blank tape levies were last collected on December 12th, 2009. Therefore Slovenian audiovisual authors have lost at least € 4.000.000 worth of compensation although audiovisual authors, performers and producers are entitled to fair compensation for acts of private copying according to Slovenian legislation and in line with international copyright treaties, to which Slovenia is a party.
Audiovisual authors in Slovenia are hit very hard by the current situation, particularly so because of the presumption of transfer of rights they do not enjoy fair remuneration for the cable retransmission, as opposed to their colleagues in the music sector or literature.
Performers, who are by law entitled only to compensation for acts of private copying, get no remuneration at all.
The Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has last issued a license for new rights in 2007.
On February 1st and 2nd, 2018, hosted by DSR (Directors’ Guild of Slovenia) and AIPA, in partnership with FERA, FSE and SAA, an audiovisual author’s workshop »How to effectively shape authors’ rights policy for the audiovisual sector at national and EU level« took place in Ljubljana. At the end of the workshop FERA, SAA and FSE sent a call on the Slovenian Government, the National Assembly, the National Council, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology to address the discrimination between audio and audiovisual authors and to license the collective management of private copying levies without further delays.
It is obvious that Slovenia does not fulfil its commitments according to the EU legislation. The result is that thousands of Slovenian and foreign authors and performers do not receive their fair remuneration.
At the end of March Slovenian audiovisual performers founded “Društvo slovenskih audiovizualnih igralcev” (DSI – Slovenian Audiovisual Performer’s Association) to actively address those issues and join Slovenian audiovisual authors in the fight for fair remuneration. We are currently waiting for the approval of the governmental administrative unit.
National report was prepared by Marko Simcic, Maja Sever, Sasa Pavcek and Eva Kras.