CROSS – SECTOR MEETING “INCREASING CAPACITIES AND STRENGTHENING OF THE REGIONAL CSOS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF THE LABOR CONDITIONS AND DIALOGUE WITH PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
Serbian Association of Occupational health and safety on 21.12.2016. organized cross- sector meeting. The main goal of this meeting was to create permanent communication channels between Civil Society and Media Organization in monitoring of the professional practices for Health and Safety at work with visibility enlargement of regional CSOs. Attendance took many stakeholders such as Serbian Association of Employers, Trade unions, Employers’ associations, Media organizations, CSOs, Social- Economic Council (SEC)The Association of Serbian physicians and pharmacists. In the introductory part of the event the participants were addressed by Mr. Dragoslav Tomovic who emphasized the importance of cross–sector meetings and networking of all social partners in occupational safety and health sphere.
Mr. Nebojsa Miletic, representative of the Serbian Association of Employers – Sector for preventive engineering presented the importance, role and current work of the Sector and the efforts that Sector made in the field of safety and health at work and working conditions and cooperation of the Sector with social partners to achieve effective social dialogue that contribute to better working conditions, access to relevant information, respect of fundamental rights of collective representation and enabling legal and institutional framework.
Andrijana Tomic, project officer presented the activities of the project that will be implemented in the future, the importance of local, national and regional networking, sharing of information, knowledge, as well as the principles of good practice. Successful social dialogue leads to solving economic and social problems, encouraging good governance, promotion of partnership approach.
She gave conclusion that the promotion of health and safety at work requires involvement of all relevant institutions to create an opportunity of exchanging ideas, strengthening existing and establishing new institutional partnerships, improving of facilities for preparation of national and regional research in terms of health and safety at work based on previous experiences, activities that this project will strive for.
To raise the culture of prevention in OSH state to the higher level, to raise awareness, to promote safety and health at work, it is necessary to activate participation of media organizations in promotion of human working conditions and safety practices, emphasized representatives of media organizations. Mrs. Zorica Rankovic, representative of the media organization „Stakleno zvono”, stressed that a very small number of media is involved in this issue, since there is lack of funding media organizations and beside that there are other challenges which the media are facing, such as political changes, etc.
She stressed the support throughout this project and Mr. Dejan Zagorac, editor of the journal “The World of work”, also mentioned the importance of civil society and the media in terms of strengthening the culture of prevention in the field of safety and health at work.
Mr. Dragoslav Tomovic, president of the Serbian Association for Occupational Safety and Health, emphasized the importance of the CSOs and their role in social dialogue and social policy. Also, that social dialogue should include the exchange of information between employers, Trade Unions, public institutions and contribute to availability of important information which are of common interest in OSH field.
He also laid out the details of the screening document under Chapter 19 (Social Policy and Employment).
During the discussion, he also underlined the importance of the role of representatives of employees in decision-making policy and promoting decent work, by improving the safety, health and working conditions.
President of the Serbian Association for the improvement of safety and protection of workers of infrastructure “BUR&IS”, Mrs. Dragan Stojanović stressed the importance of the education system in „production“of safety engineers. Scientific and educational institutions must be focused exclusively on education and carrying out scientific research.
Project Manager, Mr. Milan Petkovski highlighted the importance of regional cooperation, adopting policies of good governance and the implementation of measures and activities that will lead the right to the safe and healthy workplaces to be priority in all sectors of industry.
CSOs, professional OSH associations and other organizations present a key role in decision-making process at all levels, said President of the Association of Occupational Safety „Zitiste “, Petar Stanic.
Mrs. Vera Kondic, representative of United Branch Unions ‘’NEZAVISNOST’’ has particularly mentioned importance of regional cooperation in terms of negotiation, representation of the interests of employees and involvement of all stakeholders to present OSH state at regional level, according to this, the project certainly can contribute.
Based on the opinion expressed during the meeting we can conclude that education of employers and employees is the key aspect on which should be given special attention in the coming period to rise culture and knowledge in the field of safety and health at work on a higher level, both in the process of implementation of legal regulations and also in terms of strengthening the social dialogue and strengthening the role of civil society in the field of safety and health at work.