The revival of Ukraine's industry and development of economy have been identified as key priorities of the Government's work and the main focus in the dialogue and cooperation between the Cabinet of Ministers and major trade unions of the country. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said this during a meeting with representatives of the most influential trade unions of Ukraine and industrial associations.
"We’ve managed to build a dialogue enabling us to find solutions. We are facing unprecedented challenges, but we’ve managed to stabilize the situation in the economy, to introduce a number of systemic decisions in the wages payment system, in the pension system. We are approaching a new fiscal year, we will implement reforms in education and healthcare sectors," the Head of Government stressed, “I emphasize that for me the topmost priority is the development of the economy and what our economy will produce, we must reasonably invest in the quality of lives of the citizens. We should find a balance between the needs and opportunities that exist in the country."
Those present at the meeting stressed that there still remain a lot of problems in the state that require solutions, including in the social sphere. On the other hand, the Government's approval of programs to support industry development and strengthen social standards, inter alia wage increases, changes in the pension reform, and preserving of utility subsidies policy, is viewed as a positive trend. The dynamics of the implementation of the General Trilateral Agreement on the Adoption of the Basic Principles and Standards for the Implementation of the Socio-Economic Policy and Labor Relations in Ukraine for 2016-2017, is also considered appropriate.
The participants of the meeting provided statistical data, according to which in Ukraine the quantity of people who, since the beginning of the year, receive wages exceeding the minimum rate has grown significantly. In December last year, the proportion of people who received salaries under UAH 3,200 made up over 40%, while now – only 20%. In absolute terms over 2 million people are now receiving an increased salary. From the beginning of the year, the quantity of people who receive wages exceeding UAH 10 thousand have soared by 24.3%. By over a third an average salary of healthcare and education employees have upped. The registered unemployment rate has been cut by 11.3% in September of 2017 against September of 2016. All the aforementioned dynamics provided an opportunity to increase revenues to the SSC by UAH 39.3 billion, thereby improving the budget of the Pension Fund. As a result of regulations on the pension reform in Ukraine approved in October, the share of seniors who receive pensions of under UAH 2 thousand has decreased by a third, while the share of seniors who receive pension payments in the amount of UAH 5-10 thousand has increased three times (3.3 times).
Further economic growth, good governance, human capital development, rule of law, fight against corruption, security and defense are defined as the topmost priorities of the new draft agreement for 2018.
Summing up the meeting, the Prime Minister stressed the growth indicators set by the Government in 2018 are relatively small, but under conditions of implementation of reforms, including reforms in education and health care, they can be increased.
The Head of Government is convinced that a constructive and multilateral dialogue at the level of ministries, departments, local authorities and trade unions is one of the tools for achieving the said goal. According to him, trade unions should be a driving force in modernizing the industries, improving working conditions, increasing the state's capabilities, in particular in terms of providing own resources, creating start-ups and industrial parks, providing reasonable lobbyism for the national producer, first of all with significant added value, as well as solving social issues - including issues of tariff formation on the ground.
"We agree that growth that we forecast to the tune of 3% is insufficient. But even these 3% encapsulate profit making up a surplus of UAH 400 billion from manufactured goods and more than UAH 170 billion surplus to the wage fund. And we have the opportunity to double these figures," underscored Volodymyr Groysman.
In this context, the Prime Minister called on trade unions leaders to concentrate on and present their vision of Ukraine's industrial development for 2018, first and foremost, of extractive industries in the shortest possible time, between the first and second reading of the draft state budget. "I am waiting for proposals regarding the branches," he emphasized. "If you have better solutions, please offer those. Over the decade, we can succeed and become one of the world's most advanced economies. The showing 5-7% (GDP growth annually) can be the reality of our upturn."