Združenje dramskih umetnikov Slovenije – ZDUS
Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists (SADA)
Mestni trg 17, 1000 Ljubljana
NATIONAL REPORT, JUNE 2019
After the spring elections in 2018 it took a long time to establish the government. Minister of Culture became Mr. Prešiček, a musician by profession, who lasted in his office for only four months. In March 2019 his successor became Mr. Poznič, a sculptor by profession. The priorities of the Ministry of Culture for his mandate are: new National program for culture, better working conditions for atypical workers in culture, more transparent and easier to apply calls for funding of NGOs and their programs, standards and norms for Live performance sector (government funded theatres with long-term employments). Minister promised that he will consult the profession for any changes of the system and take into account its remarks, which has not been the case in the last several years.
In January the government amended the state budget. The integral budget went up for 19,4 million Euros. For the first time since 2012, the share of the budget of the Ministry of Culture in the state budget will again amount to 1.9 percent. Raising budget funds for culture is one of the coalition priorities. The current government set itself a measure of a gradual increase in cultural funds with the goal of reaching at least 0.5 percent of GDP by the end of the mandate. This would bring us closer to the level of 2009, when the budget for culture amounted to over 214 million euros.
The Act on the Provision of Funds for Certain Emergency Programs of the Republic of Slovenia in Culture is again in the interdepartmental coordination. If adopted, the new law, popularly called “Culture Euro”, would add another 9.3 million Euros to the annual budget for culture in 2021, 12.9€ in 2022, 21.4€ in 2023, 22.3€ in 2024, again 22.3€ in 2025, 22.8€ in 2025, and in 2026 11.3 million euros.
In accordance with the concluded strike agreements and the agreement on wages, signed between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and representative public sector trade unions, the salaries of public sector employees (including those employed in cultural institutions) will gradually be improved by 2020. In January 2019 one pay grade, that is about 4% of the salary increase, has been acquired by all employees in the public sector, with the exception of doctors, managers and officials. Until September 2020 some public sector employees will gradually improve their salaries by two, three or four pay grades.
At the negotiations on the amount of pay for annual leave between public sector trade unions and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the latter presented its final offer at the last meeting on 9 May this year, namely the payment of EUR 886.63 for the majority of employees and EUR 1,050 for public employees, who receive a salary lower than the minimum. The trade unions were not satisfied with the proposal, as the government did not take into account their only slightly higher demands. If the annex was not signed by any of the unions, it would mean maintaining the current situation, and all employees in the public sector, including the worst paid ones, would be compensated only at the level of the minimum wage.
At the beginning of May this year, amendments to the laws on personal income tax and pension and disability insurance came into force, according to which no tax and social security contributions will be required from the pay for annual leave in the amount up to the average salary in the Republic of Slovenia. Therefore employees will receive higher pay for annual leave this year. It is also important to emphasize that due to the higher payout, nobody will have to pay higher personal income tax.
Slovenia still remains among the five EU members with the highest rate of precarious employments. The data from 2017 show that 322.000 people (35% of the active workforce) have been engaged in some sort of form of the atypical employment. It has also been noticed that also work defined as full-time employment started to take certain shapes of atypical employment. The recent national conference organized by NGO “Inštitut za študije prekariata” (Institute for studies of precariat) about atypical work was a big success as all the invited attended (Minister of Labour, Minister of Education, Minister of Justice, Minister of Public Administration, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economic development and technology, a representative of the Government, the Inspector- General of Labour and the president of The National Assembly). The National Assembly has addressed the issue recently and came to a conclusion that this type of employment has many negative effects. In has been agreed the problem needs to be addressed in a systemically. They put their hopes into the inter-service working group which is in a process of preparing a proposal of measures to be taken by next spring. Atypical labour management relations are also reflected in culture and a particularly vulnerable sector is performing arts.
Slovenia is the only country in Europe where BTL remuneration is not collected because no one has the right to do so, even though the collection is provided for by the European Directive and also by national legislation. Based on international research, it is estimated that Slovenian film-makers have suffered damages of over 10 million Euros in the last decade. In 2018, AIPA c.o. joined the KOPRIVA association, which was created on the initiative of the SIPO’s request to have a special collecting organization for private copying. After the mediation of the Slovenian Minister of Economy the KOPRIVA’s application for license is currently being addressed by Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). We optimistically expect the license will be issued to KOPRIVA association early this summer. It will distribute the funds among different beneficiaries, the largest stakeholder among them is AIPA c.o., which represents producers, co-authors and performers.
Following the adoption of the new Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights Act, at the end of 2018 AIPA c.o. adopted rules on dedicated funds and opened calls for their distribution. If they apply, Slovenian film-makers can now receive funds to promote their artistic creations, for social assistance and for their professional education.
Slovenia plans to introduce a digital tax that will tax large online platforms for the revenues created in Slovenia. Namely, the Parliamentary Committee on Finance supported the proposal of the Left wing Party almost unanimously (with one member against only). Left wing Party proposed that by April next year the Government forwards a bill on taxing the digital services to the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.
Activities of ZDUS – SADA
1) A group within SADA has been working on documents and questions regarding new standards and norms in institutional theatres with long-term contract. The group is preparing a counter-offer for negotiations with Ministry for culture, which will take place in the near future. This group also put together a questionnaire with which we tried to take notice of the importance of a positive and healthy work climate and get information on state of the working conditions at present. It was aimed at actors, employed in the public sector. It deals with two main topics: the concrete risks at work and opportunities to develop artistic creativity within the given work tasks in professional theatres. The goal of the survey is to provide optimal standards for the artistic development and to encourage development of responsibility toward acting profession. The results will be presented this autumn at the annual Maribor Theatre Festival. English version of the survey is attached to this report.
2) SADA started a process of establishing a specialized health unit for people employed in culture and artistic professions in a form of a specialist clinic. We got a letter of support from the Clinical Institute for Occupational Medicine, Traffic and Sport of the University Medical centre in Ljubljana (largest healthcare institution in Slovenia) and also their offer for cooperation.
First SADA introduced a proposition for ensuring health in form of specialist clinic for those employed in Live performance field to the Ministry of Culture.
Specialist doctors prepared a presentation about work hazards, especially in theatre, and came to a conclusion that workers in other sectors are rarely or never exposed to such numerous and intense exposures (physiological, physical, chemical and psychological) as the workers in the artistic activities. Most vulnerable group are self-employed because they are not entitled to regular periodical health check-ups. A request to introduce this study was sent to the National Assembly of Republic of Slovenia.
With the help of trade union SVIZ, which is a strong supporter of the idea, an appointment at National Assembly was made. The findings of the SADA’s survey have shown concerns and also pointed an urgent need to establish a specialised health unit. Representatives of self-employed workers (Asociacija) have been avoiding this issue because their solution lays in form of subvention, financial compensation and awarded added years of service. The proposition was first introduced to the Department of Culture of the National Assembly and later to newly elected president of the Chamber of Culture which fully supported it. It was also presented to the newly appointed Minister of Culture at introductory visit with TU SVIZ. In the middle of May 2019 the proposition was introduced at the conference of the Commission for culture at National Assembly and it has been supported unanimously. They have called upon Ministries of Labour, Culture, Health and Finance to settle the issue as soon as possible.
Along with this motion SADA also initiated an appeal to establish or reform the Chamber of Culture of Slovenia and its members are now members of the board.
3) As a part of CEE group of Eurofia, SADA is taking part in the FIA project “Building Social Dialogue in a Changing Labour Market”. The first meeting of the project took place in Ljubljana, and it was a good opportunity to raise awareness of SADA’s member about the importance of international collaboration.
4) In January 2019 SADA also got the opportunity to join the project “Reaching the Full Potential of Social Dialogue for Atypical Workers”. The first meeting with the UK trainer Kate Elliot will be in Ljubljana on July 1st. Our aim is to connect, educate and encourage SADA’s members, who are atypical workers, to organise and establish an independent dialogue with the Ministry of Culture.
5) Other activities of SADA include passing the new legal act of SADA, renaming of the SADA’s acting awards, enriching SADA’s website and establishing a group for the progress of Slovene dramatics (its promotion, development and translation).
Note: National report sent to EuroFIA includes the analysis of the questionnaire mentioned under Activities of ZDUS- SADA, paragraph no. 1
National report was prepared by Maja Sever and Eva Kraš