I. General information
The Association was founded in 1996 as an autonomous professional association, operating on a voluntary basis. Its nation-wide collective membership is composed of company-based works councils from various fields. At the moment there are on average 110 collective members. While affiliation is growing, the number of members continuously fluctuates due to numerous restructurings of companies and a high rate of insolvency. However, on average the number of workers covered by the Association through their works councils has been around 100.000, which is a relatively high coverage in the real economic sector, considering Slovenian circumstances. On the other hand, there are almost no works councils in the private non-economic sector (civil servants, private institutions) due to a lack of applicable legislation. The Association has its own rules and working bodies as well as a membership fee, which has been agreed on by the members and whereby it finances its activities.
II. Aims and activities
The Association of Works Councils of Slovenia mainly pursues the following fundamental aims:
1. Ensuring an established advisory service for works councils members
This is undisputably the most important aim of our association. The Association provides works council members with professional advisory service via its own professional partner team (SCID, CPM, EDIL ING) and also with the help of numerous external associates.
We have our own website library with more than 1300 different professional articles and materials.
2. Instituting a system of education and training for works council member
This pertains to a gradual formation of a comprehensive education and training system, which fully accommodate for the field of development of workers’ participation in particular. It can nowadays already satisfy the majority of members’ educational needs.
3. Exchange of best practices between works council members
The Association organizes at least two or three professional conferences a year on different topical issues, which are also intend for direct exchange of practical experience between members. Every year at least one of the conferences takes place in one of the companies of a works council member.
4. Focused research and study of the system of workers’ participation
At our professional conferences the members adopt numerous guidelines and recommendations for the operation of works councils in particular fields. We are concurrently also conducting various specialized research projects.
5. Development Q/ the ‘industrial democracy movement’
The Association’s fifth essential aim is -promoting and spreading the idea of workers’ participation and building a social environment that is sensible and susceptible to its development’, whereby we also contribute to strengthen the position of each individual member works council. This mission has been mainly advanced by the professional journal ‘Economic Democracy’, which is issued six times a year.
6. Ensuring a sustained influence on legislative activity
In this respect the Association actively participates in development of legislation in the field of employment relations, profit-sharing and workers’ co-ownership, by putting forward and advocating for its substantial suggestions and proposals. The Association is also actively involved in deliberations on the need and suitability of potential amendments to the Workers’ Co-management Act, the Companies Act and other provisions on employee participation in various departmental acts.
7. Development of international cooperation
In addition to fostering contacts and organizing lectures with foreign professionals in the field of workers’ participation, the Association also organizes an annual study visit to one of the European countries with the aim of getting to know other systems and exchange of good practices.