AfD party congress: 500 euros, preferred for citizens – politics


Markus Balser, Berlin

For Germany’s largest opposition party, a lot is likely to be at stake this weekend. Anyone who speaks to representatives of the AfD leadership these days feels this very clearly. The fear is growing that things will get heated up when the debates begin on Saturday from ten o’clock in Kalkar in North Rhine-Westphalia at the social party conference. Thick issues are on the agenda of the party, which is deeply divided by a power struggle. The 600 delegates should not only vote on new board members. You should also give the AfD a socio-political face.


Women’s quota: Kramp-Karrenbauer celebrates “breakthrough” policy

The outgoing CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the agreement reached after tough negotiations in the coalition for stricter guidelines for female bosses in the economy. “The fact that the quota for women is finally coming to board members in larger companies is a breakthrough and an important step on the way to equality and equal opportunities in Germany,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer Süddeutsche Zeitung. The compromise was “only a first step, but one with an important signal effect,” she said. “I am convinced that companies will benefit from a more diverse management team.”

The coalition working group on the draft law for more women in top positions (FüPoG2) finally agreed on an eight-point plan on Friday evening. According to this, board members in listed companies with equal co-determination and with more than three members must appoint at least one woman. Existing board members will, however, receive grandfathering. Management boards, supervisory boards and the two management levels below may no longer be assigned a gender without justification – otherwise there is a risk of fines. Federal companies must have at least 30 percent of the opposite sex on the supervisory board. Directors with more than two members must appoint a woman. A minimum participation of one man and one woman will be introduced on boards and management boards of health insurance companies, the Federal Employment Agency as well as pension and accident insurances.

Esken praises Giffeys and Lambrecht’s “tenacity”

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s reference to the mixed management teams can also be understood as a criticism of their potential successors. Three party friends are running for office, none of them has yet a wife by their side. Friedrich Merz, a self-declared economic expert, has so far rejected a quota in the economy, and is also skeptical within the party. Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen, on the other hand, are open to the considerations.

The SPD had fought for binding regulations for years. Co-party leader Saskia Esken praised the fact that the goal of fair participation of women in leadership positions had “finally come a lot closer”. The “tenacity” of the ministers Franziska Giffey and Christine Lambrecht – they had submitted the draft law – and of Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, it is mainly thanks to “that supervisory boards as a whole and board members with more than two members without women finally a” no go ” will be”. Esken expects “that the law can now be introduced into parliament, discussed and passed without further delay.”

Sociology professor Jutta Allmendinger warned to be satisfied with what has been achieved. “We have to address further regulations that cause structural discrimination against women,” said the president of the Berlin Science Center of the SZ. “It’s also about more diversity in governing bodies, regardless of the sectors. The gender issue is only one important dimension,” she said. “Work will continue next week.”


Women in Business: To Power – Business

Essay by

Henrike Rossbach

In mid-September, Federal Minister of Women Franziska Giffey was a guest at the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, i.e. at the economyas the saying goes. She had been talking for a while, it was about the compatibility of work and family, when the SPD politician came up on another topic. One that made her noticeably pissed off. “During the Corona crisis, we heard: So you know, Ms. Giffey, your project, women in leadership – that just doesn’t work in the crisis. Now women in leadership positions too – that would be an unreasonable burden!” She paused. “I had to listen to it, yes! So.”


Diversity: How Wrong Arguments Jeopardize the Right Goal – Economy

It is often said that diversity is good for business. There is no evidence for this. Why it is dangerous to struggle with questionable arguments for the right goal.

Essay by

Felicitas Wilke

Last Monday, the Federal Minister for Women, Franziska Giffey, stood in front of a green wall with the words “Diversity” emblazoned on it. The management consultancy BCG has invited to a round table, the question is how it can succeed that companies in Germany finally consider more women for management positions. In her keynote speech, which is broadcast live stream in accordance with the pandemic, the politician says what she does not tire of emphasizing in one way or another: It is “no charity or nice-to-have” to bring more women to the executive boards ” we actually have a situation where mixed teams are more successful “.


Agreement TVÖD: overview of the most important points – politics

The morning after, there was a lot of tiredness in the room. You could see glassy eyes and dark circles, and the chief negotiators who presented their compromise blinked in the spotlight. The federal government and municipal employers had wrestled with the Verdi and Deutscher Beamtenbund trade unions for three days and nights until the collective bargaining agreement for public sector employees was on Sunday morning. The negotiations were “hard to very hard”, said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), and Verdi boss Frank Werneke called them “difficult” and “demanding”. The result is correspondingly complicated; it is full of gradations and special regulations. An overview:

Wage increase, term and costs

Each of the approximately 2.5 million employees receives at least 3.2 percent more salary, in two stages: From April 1, 2021, there is 1.4 percent more, from April 1, 2022 another 1.8 percent on top. The increase is greater for low-income employees, for two reasons: The first level of increase is at least 50 euros, which is more than 1.4 percent for this group. Second, there is an increase in the annual special payment of five percent for the lower pay groups (1-8). This results in a salary increase of up to 4.5 percent for this group. The collective agreement runs until December 31, 2022 and, according to the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations, costs 4.9 billion euros. President Ulrich Mädge said he hoped for support from the federal government in the years to come.


There are hundreds of different professions in the public service of the federal government and municipalities, such as garbage collector or educator, theater pedagogue or controller in financial administration. All employees now receive a corona bonus, which is intended to honor the fact that the public service works well even in times of the pandemic. It is 600 euros for low-income earners (pay groups 1-8), 400 euros for medium-sized (groups 9-12) and 300 euros for high-income earners (groups 13-15). Apprentices receive 225 euros if they are employed by a local authority and 200 euros if they work for the federal government.

Nurses benefit the most

Nursing staff benefit more than others, whether in hospitals, retirement homes or other facilities. From March 2021 you will receive a monthly care allowance of 70 euros, a year later it increases to 120 euros. There is also an extra bonus for intensive care carers, the intensive supplement increases from 46.02 to 100 euros. Thirdly, the allowance increases for all those who work alternating shifts, i.e. at different times. Instead of 105, it is now 155 euros. Depending on which allowances a carer receives, the salary increases by up to ten percent. There is also an allowance for doctors who are employed by the health authorities, namely 300 euros.

East-West alignment

To this day, different amounts of work are worked in East and West German municipalities, 40 hours in the east and 39 hours in the west. This is now being adjusted: at the beginning of 2022, working hours in the east are to be reduced by half an hour, and in 2023 to 39 hours.

Savings banks and airports

There are special rules for employees. The airports are in a serious crisis because only a few aircraft are taking off due to the corona pandemic. The employees are exempt from the salary increases, instead an emergency collective agreement is to be negotiated for them soon, which lowers personnel costs and rules out redundancies. The situation is also difficult at savings banks. That is why there is a lower wage increase there; it is not at least 3.2 percent, as with the other employees, but 2.4 percent. In addition, the annual special payment will be reduced, for which the employees will receive compensation in the form of days off.

Criticism of the conclusion

Many observers see the conclusion as positive, but not all. Some criticize that little or nothing could be left of the increase for employees with higher incomes, if inflation is factored in: forecasts come to 1.4 percent for next year and 1.6 percent for the next one. Others complain that the corona bonus is paid for all employees and not just for jobs that are particularly affected by the pandemic.

Bus and train drivers continue to strike

Verdi had exerted pressure with strikes during the collective bargaining round; daycare centers and hospitals were also affected. That’s off the table with the agreement. In the local public transport sector, however, the strikes are continuing, where another conflict is at stake: bus and train drivers want to achieve a nationwide uniform framework collective agreement. So far, employers have refused to even start negotiations.


TVÖD – A compromise, better late than never – opinion

The result looks like a mess of numbers, but the message is clear. Public service employees who earn little – garbage collectors, for example – should receive a substantial increase in wages. There is also another group that clearly wins: Nursing staff, whether in hospitals or old people’s homes. In the future, bonuses will give them up to ten percent more wages. That’s a good signal.

The collective bargaining round in the public service of the federal government and municipalities was thus entirely dominated by the pandemic, because it has something in store for those who have been celebrated as “Corona heroes” in recent months. However, the pandemic is also noticeable in that the economic crisis can be clearly felt in the result. For middle and high earners there is, with a rather long term of 28 months, just 3.2 percent more. It is quite possible that this wage increase will be wiped out by inflation in the next two years. That leaves the “Corona bonus” of 200 to 600 euros, which is paid once to employees this year and which is above all symbolically important, similar to the equalization of working hours in East and West Germany.

All in all, the result is a good compromise, because it offers improvements especially for those who were and are particularly affected by the pandemic. For the others there are correspondingly fewer due to the constraints.

The citizens would have been better spared the warning strikes.

One thing is the results, the other is the question of how they came about. Things could have gone much better there. After the failure of the second round of negotiations in mid-September, Verdi called for warning strikes that hit not only city administrations, but also hospitals and day-care centers. Parents were outraged that they had to organize emergency care for their children again, and many were concerned that hospitals were restricting operations. The people would have been better spared that, especially since the bus and train drivers are on strike these days – this Monday again in Bavaria.

Some may find this argument cheap and object three things: First, that strike is a fundamental right. Second, that unions need to mobilize their members to maintain their bargaining power. Thirdly, finally, that the strikes really did not harm anyone – supply in the hospitals, for example, was always guaranteed. All of this is true, and yet these objections fall short. Because through the strikes, the collective bargaining parties have stoked fears in the population. In times of historical crisis, this should have been avoided at all costs.

But it is not the trade unions’ fault alone that it turned out this way. For their part, employers did little to steer the collective bargaining round on a constructive path early on. At first you did not agree to negotiate seriously about a postponement until next spring. Then they decided not to make an offer in the first or second round of negotiations. A well-known ritual that should have been avoided this year.

In times of crisis, political parties form alliances that go beyond the everyday small and small. It is good that the unions and employers have now come to an agreement. Better late than never.


Youth poverty in Corona: pay attention to young people – politics

In the pandemic, many young people had to bury dreams. Going to the USA as an au pair after graduating from high school? No chance. An internship at a start-up? Difficult. Free choice of apprenticeship? Is no longer. Instead of getting started it is now often said: wait and see. The future doesn’t happen.

It’s sad for everyone. Yet young adults, who still have multiple options, are doing almost brilliantly compared to disadvantaged young people. These are young people who were taken out of their families because of intolerable conditions and have since lived in homes and foster families or on the streets. Around 37,000 people under the age of 27 do not have a home in Germany. But they too have dreams. If they want to get started, they usually find themselves at the very end of the distribution chain. Finally, if an employer has a long list of applicants, it is unlikely to hire a trainee with a drug history.

The corona pandemic makes life even more difficult for all young people who already have difficult starting conditions, as the Federal Working Group for Catholic Youth Social Work is now warning in its Youth Poverty 2020 Monitor. They usually have no parents who can support them. And youth welfare services usually end as soon as they turn 18. Where others have the option to continue living with their parents, they have to move out of the home. Saying goodbye is made easier for them, because if they earn money while they are still in the home, they have to hand over up to 75 percent of it to the youth welfare office – an unjust practice that leaves many people even more concerned about their fate; it is understandable, therefore, that they would rather be outside than inside. But then new problems arise. For example: where to live?

Youth welfare benefits should be extended

For these young people, a training position would be like winning the lottery. But it is not uncommon that it is literally out of reach. A young person can usually only move from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or North Rhine-Westphalia to Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria with the help of their parents or grandparents, if they can find an apartment at all. But those who cannot pay for the deposit, furnishing and moving are left out. Somebody would have to vouch for it. And the trip to the job interview can quickly become an insurmountable hurdle. In addition, there are hardly any offers, and many companies are currently not hiring any trainees.

Older people know such crises from their own youth, when an apprenticeship position could lay the foundation for a prosperous life. Nowadays, a completed training no longer guarantees a carefree future. The job market has become too changeable. An apprenticeship also offered opportunities for people with non-linear résumés. When these fail, they are the first to run the risk of crashing. The Corona crisis should sharpen the senses for the needs of young people in precarious circumstances – and also for the importance of affordable housing. The fact that even more young people are lost to society during the crisis than they already are should not be tolerated. Youth welfare benefits should be extended. And the fact that young people have to pay for their home placement is a scandal anyway.


Right to work from home: an important law for the future – opinion

One of the nice side effects of the Corona crisis is that it has taught you to work more independently. Moving the workplace home is technically not possible in their job and in terms of processes, said the majority of employees and the associated employers before the crisis – and were then often surprised themselves at how well they can work together, too without sitting together at the conference table in the morning. Corona was and is a gigantic learning project for employees and employers alike.

It is therefore an exaggeration when the Union now warns against the right to mobile working 24 days a year, suggested by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), and argues that this is not reasonable for medium-sized companies because of the bureaucratic effort. The labor market policy spokesman of the CSU in the Bundestag, Stephan Stracke, speaks rightly of a “deep interference in the work processes of companies”. But this intervention happened a long time ago, Corona forced it. One can rather ask whether a new law is even necessary for this change.

According to surveys this summer, 36 percent of all employees worked from home, a large number of them almost exclusively and the vast majority with great satisfaction. In the future, too, they will insist on using their desk at home more often than before, since they have noticed how nicely the end of the day extends when you spend it on your own balcony instead of in the overcrowded S-Bahn. And how happy the child is playing in the yard when the parents know it is nearby. Employers, on the other hand, have often made the experience that the employees were still hard-working when no boss looked suspiciously over their shoulder. Instead of the time spent in the office, what counts in modern corporate management is the output, not the time clock.

There is no question that working from home will be the rule in the future much more than it used to be – but this is by no means true for all industries. Evaluations show that academics in particular moved their jobs home. Most recently, 48 percent of all civil servants worked from home, but only six percent of workers. In other words: It is not the educator or the assembly line worker who can go home, but above all the highly paid programmer; In other words, highly sought-after specialists who can set the conditions for their work more easily anyway. Companies will gladly grant them this, especially if they notice that productivity is not suffering and the company may even save on office rent. A legal claim will make it even easier for these employees to demand the new way of working. It’s an important gesture. But this law will not bring about a cultural change. He’s already there.