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The Central Government Social Partners’ Council – a joint venture between unions and the central government as an employer

These pages describe how unions and the central government as an employer, through the Central Government Social Partners’ Council (the Social Partners’ Council) jointly carry out projects that are closely related to national collective agreements for central government administration. The national administrative context will be briefly explained and examples of working areas will illustrate the operations of the Social Partners’ Council. In Swedish the formal name is Rådet för partsgemensamt stöd inom det statliga avtalsområdet (Partsrådet).

Table of contents

The administrative context of the Social Partners’ Council

Binding agreements with legal status

The social partners – providers to the system

The Central Government Social Partners’ Council

The administrative context of the Social Partners' Council

Although the Swedish central government is a single legal body, it has special features of importance for the relationship between the social partners; the central government agencies as employers and the unions.

 

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Binding agreements with legal status

Sweden has rather comprehensive labour legislation that applies across the labour market, including the central government administration. Many of these laws are discretionary and may, by agreements between social partners, be adapted and changed to fit a labour market sector and even the needs of a single organisation. However, the minimum legal standards may not be lowered.

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The social partners – providers to the system

In Sweden, government employee wages were once set by the political system. Pay scales and pay grades were closely connected to complex ranking systems of all government positions at this time.

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The Central Government Social Partners' Council

Already in 1995, an organisation called the Development Council was established jointly by the social partners in central government. It was steered by a board appointed by the social partners and its core mission was to support joint projects at the agency level according to applications put forth by local social partners. Many of these projects were successfully completed, reported and evaluated. Additionally, some projects in the fields of gender equality, transparency, ethics, diversity and master educational programmes were carried out by the council itself.

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Partsrådet stöder partsgemensamt förändrings- och förnyelsearbete på statliga arbetsplatser.