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Apr 22, 2016

New three-year collective agreement Russian Railways to be concluded in 2016

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New three-year collective agreement Russian Railways to be concluded in 2016Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways, has held a joint meeting of the Company's Management Board and the trade union committee Rosprofzhel, which was dedicated to meeting the obligations of the Collective Agreement Russian Railways in 2015.

"Despite the difficult economic situation, the Company has not rejected the principles of social responsibility on the part of business. In 2015, all the obligations to the employees, veterans and pensioners of Russian Railways, were fulfilled," said Oleg Belozerov when addressing the meeting.

The average monthly salary of employees at Russian Railways in 2015 amounted to 44,500 roubles, which is 31% higher than the average in the Russian Federation. Labour productivity for the year increased by 4.8%, while in the first quarter of 2016 it rose by 4.5%.

In order to increase motivation, employees are paid bonuses for ensuring traffic safety, while zonal allowances have been established in regions with high levels of staff turnover and lower wages. Wages are indexed every year, and this year the Company has already found the funds to index wages to 2.9% from 1 March 2016.

Since 2014, Russian Railways has been operating a three-year collective agreement, which has allowed the Company to develop one of the best social packages for employees and retirees in the country.

However, the agreement expires in 2016, so the Company is working on a new version to cover the next three years.

"The collective agreement should not be static. It has to be improved constantly," said Dmitry Shakhanov, Vice-President of Russian Railways, in his address to the session.

According to Shakhanov, the document should be based on three basic strategic principles. Above all, it should aim at improving the targeting of benefits and guarantees so that each employee can choose herself what social services she wants to use. The next basic principle is to increase the share of benefits that are provided on insurance principles and conditions of equity co-financing on the part of workers and the employer. The third principle is to strengthen the responsibility of employees for operating results.

"The principle of responsibility should be clarified in the Collective Agreement. Otherwise, it could turn out that unscrupulous employees would receive the same benefits as those who are selflessly dedicated to their work. It has to be made crystal clear that low-quality work leads to a lack of resources which we could and should have directed to promoting other staff," said Oleg Belozerov.

The negotiations signing the new Collective Agreement at Russian Railways will take place in the near future.

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