Industrial relations

The industrial relations of interest to Terna and the unions that represent its employees take place at both the electricity industry and the Company level.

All of Terna S.p.A.’s employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the companies in the electricity industry (CCNL - the National Collective Labour Contract for employees in the electricity industry). The industry contract regulates many aspects of the terms of employment, such as the minimum pay for the different categories of employees, the pay of shift workers, vacations, overtime, supplementary health insurance, and supplementary pension funds.

Terna contributes to establishing the industry rules, because it is part of the delegation of employers that negotiates the renewal of the contract with the unions. On March 5, 2010, a draft agreement on the CCNL – which expired on June 30, 2009 – was signed. The new contract will expire on December 31, 2012.

The relationship with the industry unions also led to the regulation of the indispensable tasks that must be performed, in the event of a strike, to ensure the continuity of the service. Terna applies the national union agreement of November 12, 1991, which implemented Law no. 146 of June 12, 1990, regarding the right to strike in essential public services and was approved by the committee established to ensure the implementation of the aforesaid law.
Among other things, the agreement provides exemption from the strike for employees who are indispensable for the continuity of the service (those assigned to short-term planning and the operation and maintenance of the production and transmission system).

It should be noted, however, that when the CCNL that expired on June 30, 2009 was renewed, guidelines were established for the subsequent definition of the new regulation of the right to strike in the electricity industry. These guidelines retain the principle of ensuring service continuity in the event of a strike and introduce on an experimental basis innovations regarding the strike procedures of personnel on call.

The renewal of the CCNL also included the institution of a bilateral, industry-level organism on “health, safety, and the environment”, which is entrusted with enhancing occupational safety, beginning with common objectives agreed on by the parties. Specifically, the organism is to make proposals, monitor, and coordinate training regarding environmental and safety issues. Provision was made for the possibility of establishing, in companies with more than 500 employees, bilateral corporate committees that would work in agreement with the industry organism.

Employee involvement regarding health and safety is currently regulated by the law, which provides for Employee Safety Representatives (RLS) to be elected by all the employees. The RLS thus represent 100% of the employees and their number depends on the number of the company’s employees and offices. Their role involves seeing that regulations on the health and safety of workers are applied. During the aforesaid renewal of the CCNL, the role of the RLS was expanded to include environmental issues, so they are now RLSA.

In March 2009, Terna and the Company unions signed an application agreement. In June 2009 the new RLS for all local Terna units were elected, while the new RLS for the Company’s offices in Rome were elected in October of the same year.

The aforesaid corporate agreement of March 2009 is only one of the numerous aspects of the relationship between Terna and the unions at the Company level.

The employee union membership rate at Terna S.p.A. in 2009 was 65.1%, which is high with respect to the industry average and essentially in line with that of previous years. Membership is concentrated in the major unions, which determines the absence of fragmentation in union representation and constitutes the condition for a high-level system of relations.

In the three-year period 2007-2009, bargaining with the professional unions led to the signing of 31 agreements.

It should be noted, finally, that a preliminary discussion regarding the new organisational structure of the Operationi Italia Department took place. The involvement of the unions  in the event of organisational changes is one of the essential aspects of industrial relations, and it is regulated by provisions of the law and the industry contract, as well as agreements at the corporate level. According to the law, in the event of mergers, acquisitions, or other significant changes in the ownership structure, as specified by the aforesaid law, the workers’ representatives must be informed and consulted no less than twenty-five days prior to binding agreements.
On the basis of the union agreements in effect at Terna, in the event there are significant organisational changes there must be preliminary discussions held with the unions, to be concluded within three months. The discussions require the Company to make available all the documentation necessary to allow the union representatives to have a complete view of the organisational project in order to make observations and proposals. In this phase, the preliminary information stays at a collective level. Individual employees are informed in advance only if the organisational change entails their transfer to a different office. In this case, workers must be informed in writing at least thirty days in advance.