Istanbul Law Review
May The Constitutional Court Limit Collective Labor Agreement AutonomyGaye Baycık, Erdem Cam
This article aims to examine collective labor agreement autonomy, the principle of equality, and state personnel regime pursuant to a decision the Constitutional Court settled in 2017. This decision involved collective labor agreement autonomy. However, in this article is not interested in criticizing the decision but in putting out an in-depth analysis of collective labor agreement autonomy as a Constitutionally covered right. As this decision has presented inequality among state personnel, it has also put forth the need for fundamental change in Turkey’s thoroughly minced state personnel regime. As this decision shows, the state personnel regime helps neither the State nor its employees, but instead outputs unconstitutionality. This causes inequality, a breach in labor peace and public interest, and therefore a breach in public order as well. The starting point of this article is this decision of the Constitutional Court. However, this article also puts forward that the state personnel regime causes many problems in areas such as collective labor agreement, voluntary collective labor bargaining, and equality. The decision indicates how the Constitutional Court stretches its own audit principles in order to preserve public income. With this decision, the Constitutional Court first broadened the limitations over the fundamental right of collective labor agreement autonomy and then breached the principle of proportionality. The Court additionally breached the requirements for limiting a fundamental right in a democratic society. This viewpoint of the Court indicates the dilemma found within their charge of protecting public sources while breaching a fundamental right prescribed in the Constitution. This also shows the inequality that exists among state personnel. In this scope, the decision is criticized and this leaded some changes to the state personnel regime.
Anayasa Mahkemesi Toplu İş Sözleşmesi Özerkliğini Sınırlandırabilir mi?Gaye Baycık, Erdem Cam
Çalışmamızda Anayasa Mahkemesinin (AYM), Sayıştay 3. Dairesi’nin başlattığı somut norm denetimi (itiraz yolu) üzerine 2017 yılında toplu iş sözleşmesi özerkliğiyle ilgili vermiş olduğu karar çerçevesinde “toplu iş sözleşmesi özerkliği”, “eşitlik ilkesi” ve “devlet personel rejimi” değerlendirilecektir. Amacımız, söz konusu kararı tartışmaktan ve bir karar incelemesi ortaya koymaktan ziyade, karardan yola çıkarak toplu iş sözleşmesi özerkliği konusunu incelemektir. Bu kararın ortaya çıkardığı sonuçlardan biri de aynı statüde çalışanların arasında yaratmış olduğu hak ve menfaat farklılığıdır. Bu da bize uzun yıllardır ülkemizde tartışılan, ancak bir türlü hayata geçirilmeyen devlet personel rejimindeki köklü değişikliklerin artık yapılmasının zorunluluk arz ettiğini çarpıcı mahkeme kararı üzerine ortaya koymaktadır. Zira tabir-i caizse “yamalı bohça” haline gelmiş olan devlet personel rejimi artık ne devlete ne de kamuda çalışanlara yarar sağlamakta, aksine anılan mahkeme kararında olduğu gibi, birçok Anayasal hakkın dahi ihlal edildiği algısı yaratmakta veya bu hakları ihlal etmektedir. Bu durumun en somut sonucu ise çalışanlar arasında eşitsizliğin oluşması ve dolayısıyla çalışma hayatında huzursuzluk yaratarak çalışma barışının bozulması ve en nihayetinde kamu yararının ve kamu düzeninin ihlal edilmesidir. Çalışma konumuzun çıkış noktası Anayasa Mahkemesi’nin anılan kararı olmasına rağmen, bu çalışma, özellikle devlet personel rejiminin; toplu iş sözleşmesi özerkliği, serbest toplu pazarlık ve eşitlik ilkesi açısından yarattığı sorunları ortaya koymakta ve Anayasa Mahkemesi’nin, kamu bütçesinin korunması amacıyla denetim ölçütlerini esnekleştirmesini eleştirmektedir.
In 2017, the Turkish Constitutional Court settled a decision involving collective labor agreement autonomy. Due to the splintered nature of the state personnel regime, many different rules apply to some that do not apply to others. According to the law ruling on the rights of the personnel of the Mesleki Yeterlilik Kurumu [Professional Competency Board], increasing these personnel’s wages beyond that of personnel in the Ministry of Labor and Social Security is forbidden. However, due to autonomy of collective labor agreement being prescribed in Article 53 of the Turkish Constitution, social parties are entitled to conclude the improvement of wages on their own. The problem of nuisance value was brought to Court of Accounts due to the wages being paid as concluded in the Collective Labor Agreement,. The authorities from the Professional Competency Board upheld the principle and constitutional right of autonomy of collective labor agreement and brought the problem before the Constitutional Court to determine if social parties have the right to breach a provision in a code under the pretext of the autonomy of collective labor agreement. The Supreme Court decided with a majority vote to limit this autonomy! The Court implemented the same principles, but concluded with a distractive solution in which social parties may not increase wages that are limited by a code and found this not to go against either Article 53 or 51 in the Constitution.
The current article examines and critiques each principle of constitutionality, because limiting the autonomy of collective labor agreement is not permitted, even by codes. The Supreme Court appears to be trying to preserve public income, while stretching its own audit principles. This article first explains the right to collective labor agreement and autonomy of collective labor bargaining, because while the Constitution does not prescribe autonomy of collective labor agreement, Article 53 accepted its doctrine by giving social parties the right to conclude collective labor agreement and according them the right to autonomy of collective labor agreement. The decision this article has made its subject concerns when the Supreme Court first broadened the limitations on the right to collective labor agreement as prescribed in Article 53. Article 51 entitles citizens to establish and join a union, albeit with some limitations such as maintaining public order. Article 53, however, has no limitations.
The Court stated in its decision that the limitations prescribed in Article 51 may be accepted as limitations on the right to conclude collective labor agreement and therefore on the right to autonomy itself. The current article must first criticize this broadened commentary due to the comment regarding the ruling on limiting fundamental rights. In addition, the Court also lowered the requirements for limiting fundamental rights in a democratic society. The Court stated that protecting public income and sources is important, that lawmakers as a result have the right to limit the autonomy of collective labor agreement in order to protect public resources, and that this is an acceptable requirement in a democratic society. Protecting public resources by only limiting the wages of one group of state personnel must be stated as being unnecessary in a democratic society while so many other more effective ways exist to protect it. Therefore, this limitation in code is not proportional to the aim because lawmakers have no right to limit the autonomy of collective labor agreement as prescribed in the Constitution in order to preserve public resources while so many more effective and legal ways can be found to do this than limiting the wages of a single group. This is why this article decided to examine this issue in order to criticize and analyze the Constitutional Court’s audit principles as well as the constitutionality of the right of voluntary collective bargaining and, as a result. autonomy. However, the problem is not caused by the Constitutional Court but the state personnel regime that rules over personnel in various groups. Therefore, changing the entire state personnel regime would be really extreme in order to prevent unconstitutionality and inequality and to provide labor, peace and public order.