Berlin (dpa) – Unions demand 5% more wages for the roughly one million civil service workers in the Länder.
At the same time, Verdi and the official dbb association ask for a minimum amount of 150 euros per month. The duration should be twelve months. This was announced by the unions Verdi and dbb on Thursday in Berlin. Given the particular burdens of the pandemic, the unions want to pay special attention to the health system in the negotiations.
“There are areas in the public service where it’s scorching and bubbling,” said Verdi boss Frank Werneke. Dbb boss Ulrich Silberbach underlined: “We expect the clap not to come after the clap.” The Länder’s chief negotiator, Lower Saxony Finance Minister Reinhold Hilbers (CDU), had already made it clear that the Länder saw only narrow financial leeway for salary increases.
According to the unions, a total of around 1.1 million employees and 48,000 trainees in the civil service of the Länder, with the exception of Hesse, which is not part of the collective bargaining association of the German Länder (TdL), are concerned. There are also around 1.4 million civil servants and around one million pension recipients to whom a diploma is to be transferred. Negotiations with the TdL are due to start on October 8 and continue until November.
Deserves respect and recognition
Werneke said: “Employees nationwide have kept the store running over the past several months and have earned respect and recognition.” Beamtenbunds dbb Chairman Silberbach said of the experiences of the pandemic: “A well-equipped and poorly equipped public service can have devastating consequences.”
The unions want to earn 300 euros more per month for the health sector. “Healthcare workers have fought the corona pandemic with maximum commitment. This must now finally be honored, ”said Werneke. In university hospitals, there is a threat of emigration of nurses. “People will not allow them to suffer a loss of purchasing power,” Werneke warned employers. The minimum amount required must above all protect the purchasing power of people with low and middle incomes.
Training compensation is increased by 100 euros. Verdi demanded that negotiations be started on collective agreements for student assistants and that road maintenance and road construction also be negotiated.
A hard round of the table in sight
Demands and initial employer statements point to a difficult collective bargaining round, after the 2019 state collective bargaining round was accompanied by warning strikes at daycares, schools and teaching hospitals. “We are dealing with a management party that is on the verge of a riot,” Werneke said. As the main conflict with the TdL even before negotiations began, Werneke mentioned that the Länder wanted to remove the secure grouping of employees from the fee schedule. “It would have the potential for downgrading.” The unions opposed it.
Werneke and Silberbach called on employers to engage in constructive negotiations. Then, no labor dispute is necessary. Silberbach also stressed: “The people who work for this country are tired of being applauded for months, but when we then raise our demands as unions, they say: No, we will not get it.” Labor pressure is high.
The Education and Science Union (GEW) and the Police Union (GdP) have made it clear that, given the difficulties faced by workers during the pandemic, they placed particular emphasis on a good degree this time. “If we are to tackle the shortage of skilled workers, which we have to do, a 5 percent pay rise is certainly part of it,” said GEW boss Maike Finnern. Deputy GoP René Klemmer said: “Now is not the time to play with internal security here.”