The project has united strong commercial and public sector trade unions in a partnership with one of the strongest Norwegian trade union to develop tripartite dialogue strategy and practice for Lithuania in 2 pilot municipalities. The project aims to increase competences of local level social dialogue partners and fuel best practices of social dialogue based on the Norwegian model used in municipalities. Activities will include the establishment of an informal stakeholder group on local level; training of the project participants, sharing of experience and study visit to Norway; regular and process oriented meetings in all pilot municipalities local stakeholders and collective development of a draft local tripartite strategies with basic future objectives. The project targets groups are municipal communities including rural and urban community leaders, trade union leaders, employers, local politicians, officers, administrative staff and youth leaders.
Summary of project results
Social dialogue in Lithuania is facing a number of bureaucratic obstacles, especially at local level. The two-year project 'Grass-root municipality social dialogue' led by partnership of Lithuanian trade unions and the Norwegian 'Fagforbundet' focused on promoting real social dialogue practices among stakeholders in three municipalities of Lithuania. The project aimed to show that social dialogue is not only about dialogue, but also about social conflict. When social conflict and interests are blurred, there is little potential for social change. During the project time two local groups (tripartite councils) were created with representatives from politicians, business, administration and trade unions, supported by other local interest groups, including youth and activists. These tripartite groups acted as pilots to practice social dialogue as a method for solving challenges of mutual interest to the community and the employees. The project local team members visited Norway in 2013 September to see the best examples of the Nordic system in action in one particular municipality in Norway. In the Ukmerge region of Lithuania, the project helped to bring attention to problems in the area of working conditions of ambulance personnel and the local debate on working conditions improved significantly. In Kupiskis region, the project address the problem of a high suicide rate among workers. After a decision by the Kupiskis tripartite council and with facilitation of project promoters, a study circle of volunteers was established. The group trained and developed the network of informal consultants for people at risk. On national level, the project established cooperation (regular meetings and common statements between trade unions in the services sector, business employers' associations, the union of educational sector workers and the medical workers trade union. The project created social space for effective work and informal relations between these stakeholders.
Summary of bilateral results
The cooperation between the partners was very sucessful. The Norwegian partner has brought its expertise and competence into the porject, as well as many values that trade unions consider important – social justice, responsibility instead of money making, etc. The partnership has contributed to a an important porject result – the business leaders and trade union leaders reached a common understanding on decent work issues.