In nursing, the increase is 8.7 percent and the peak for intensive care workers is around ten percent. All employees will also receive a corona bonus this year. The collective agreement runs until December 31, 2022. According to the municipal employers, the costs amount to 4.9 billion euros.
According to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), the federal government, which wants to transfer the wage result to around 225,000 civil servants, will face financial burdens of around 1.2 billion euros.
The trade unions Verdi and DBB Beamtenbund and Tarifunion as well as the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA) and Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) agreed on this conclusion in the third round of negotiations on Sunday morning, most recently in a 14-hour negotiation marathon.
“Under the current conditions, this is a respectable degree that is tailor-made for the various professional groups that were the focus of the collective bargaining round,” said Verdi boss Frank Werneke. The unions had demanded an increase in wages of 4.8 percent, but at least 150 euros, over a period of one year.
Once this has been completed, salaries will be increased by 1.4 percent on April 1, 2021, but at least by 50 euros, and by a further 1.8 percent on April 1, 2022. Apprentices receive 25 euros more each. For the first seven months of the term, which will apply retrospectively from September 1st, both sides have agreed on empty months.
Above all, lower pay groups benefit from the minimum amount, which, according to Verdi, has tariff increases of up to 4.5 percent. For special burdens in the corona crisis, the collective bargaining parties have also agreed a staggered, one-time premium for this year. It is 600 euros in the lower salary groups, 400 euros in the middle and the top three groups still 300 euros.
In addition, both sides agreed to reduce the working hours of collective bargaining employees in the east in two steps to the west level of 39 hours per week by 2023.
With the compromise, further strikes, with which the unions had reinforced their demands, are off the table. However, the parallel tariff round in local public transport (ÖPNV) continues.
Verdi is calling for talks on a nationwide framework collective agreement in which, for example, the number of vacation days is uniformly regulated. However, the VKA did not receive a mandate for such negotiations from its general assembly. Nevertheless, Verdi had announced a week ago that warning strikes would initially be suspended until the end of October.
With the collective bargaining agreement in the public service of the federal government and municipalities, however, the problems of public transport have not yet been solved, said the deputy Verdi chairwoman Christine Behle on Sunday. Normally, the collective bargaining result of the public service is automatically included in the collective bargaining agreements for local transport in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony.
Because of the termination of the collective bargaining agreements, this is not the case this time: “The employers were not ready to transfer the agreement to local transport as well.” This should now be negotiated in the federal states, the employers said. But time is of the essence, especially for the corona bonus, because it will have to be paid out this year, emphasized Behle.
“We expect the municipal employers’ associations to promise the employees in local transport the Corona bonus and the wage increases within the next two weeks at the latest, so that further conflicts can be avoided. Work stoppages are still possible in local transport. “
Achieved the feasible in Corona times
The federal chairman of the Beamtenbund, Ulrich Silberbach, spoke of a “Corona compromise” at the wage agreement reached on Sunday. With this deal we have achieved what is currently feasible, ”he said.
The employers have recognized the need for action in the hospital and care sector and have finally taken important first steps towards appreciative pay that is competitive on the labor market, especially by introducing the care allowance, increasing intensive and rotating shift allowances and the Saturday allowance.
For example, employees in hospitals and nursing and care facilities receive up to three allowances: From March 2021 there will be a new monthly care allowance of 70 euros for everyone, which will be increased to 120 euros a year later.
The monthly intensive allowance will increase from EUR 46.02 to EUR 100 from March next year. At the same time, the allowance for employees who constantly work changing shifts will be increased from 105 euros per month to 155 euros from March 2021.
The VKA announced that a nurse would receive an average of 2,700 euros more by the end of the collective bargaining agreement, and an intensive care nurse an average of 3,900 euros.
In return, the unions in other areas of the public service, such as public order offices, job centers or general administration, could not have enforced this time, regretted Beamtenbund boss Silberbach. However, it is a good thing that employers could not prevail with their demand for a three-year term, emphasized Silberbach. Negotiations could start again at the beginning of 2023 – “when the corona crisis is hopefully history,” said the DBB boss.
The VKA negotiator, Lüneburg’s Lord Mayor Ulrich Mädge, called the deal “moderate”. He takes into account the financial characteristics of the corona crisis. It was important to the employers that the employees in the hospitals and in the care sector benefited above average.
Equally important, however, are the special solutions achieved for the savings banks and airports. In view of the persistent phase of low interest rates, employers saw little scope for wage increases for the approximately 175,000 employees in the savings banks.
For the airports that are suffering from the corona-related slump in air traffic, both sides had negotiated a restructuring collective agreement. A collective bargaining agreement for emergency situations that lowers personnel costs and rules out redundancies for operational reasons is now to be concluded soon. Airport employees are excluded from the agreed pay increase.
Economy course for employees at airports and in the savings banks
From July 1, 2021, employees in the savings banks will receive 1.4 percent more money, but at least 50 euros. On July 1, 2022, wages will rise by a further 1.0 percent – and therefore less than in the rest of the public sector. An adjustment to the level of the generally agreed degree will only take place at the end of the term from December 1, 2022, announced the VKA.
The employers can compensate for part of the costs of the wage increase by lowering the savings bank special payment. But there should be additional vacation days for the employees.
The chief executive of the airport association ADV, Ralph Beisel, welcomed that employees at the airports should be exempt from the agreed pay increase. “In these difficult times, the airports urgently need relief in terms of personnel costs and more flexibility in the deployment of employees,” Beisel told Handelsblatt. “A quarter of the more than 180,000 jobs at the airport locations are in acute danger.”
Due to the corona crisis, flight connections had collapsed massively, and German airports were in an existence-threatening situation. For the years 2020 and 2021, a “dramatic” loss of three billion euros is expected, after a pre-tax profit of 780 million euros in the previous year. “For the continued existence of many airports, it is essential that the talks with the unions on the conclusion of an emergency collective agreement are brought to a conclusion quickly,” demanded Beisel.
The German District Association called the conclusion “just barely justifiable”. One must keep an eye on the tax shortfalls and at the same time higher public spending, warned association president Reinhard Sager: “We must not burden ourselves with an overly heavy financial mortgage for the coming years.”
More: Why hundreds of thousands of daycare places are missing in Germany.