|Title||Austerity and Politically Motivated Changes: Wage Bargaining in Hungarian Municipal Services|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Neumann, László, Berki, Erzsébet, and Edelényi, AU - Márk|
|Journal||Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research|
|Pagination||431 - 444|
|Keywords||collective bargaining, Hungary, industrial relatio, outsourcing, public sector industrial relations, public sector reform, public sector salaries, salaries, wage bargaining|
Salaries of public sector employees have been the number one target of austerity measures applied by successive Hungarian governments since 2006, and trade unions have found it difficult to influence government policies. Until 2008 the outcomes of centralized quasi-bargaining somewhat mitigated the harsh measures, but later governments, especially the right-wing one in place since 2010, abandoned such negotiations, implementing labour law reforms that weakened trade union bargaining power and concluding selective agreements solely with representatives of certain strong groups of employees. Social dialogue institutions have become especially weak at sectoral and municipal levels. Though decentralized collective bargaining is common in larger private sector companies, and though the legal regulation is similar in state-/municipality-owned companies, genuine collective bargaining within the latter is very rare. The article presents two case studies (on geriatric care and public transport) highlighting current developments and their impacts on employment relations.