There has been a breakthrough in the collective bargaining dispute between the municipal social and educational services. The Verdi trade union and the civil servants’ association dbb agreed on Wednesday evening with the municipal employers on additional days off and monthly allowances for the around 330,000 employees. This was announced by the collective bargaining partners after more than twelve hours of negotiations in Berlin.
According to this, the employees initially receive two additional days off per year and the option to convert part of their salary into a maximum of two additional days off. In addition to the additional days off, educators in municipal public service will receive an additional 130 euros per month from July 1st. For social workers there will also be an additional 180 euros from July.
In addition, the agreement stipulates that professional experience in social and educational services should in future be rewarded in the same way as other employees in the public sector. The time employees stay in one pay grade before moving up to the next is scheduled to be aligned with general public service grades as of October 1, 2024. This means that salaries will rise faster in the future than before.
The collective agreement has a term of five years until December 31, 2026. With the breakthrough, which was initially considered unlikely, further warning strikes in the municipal public social and educational services have been averted for the time being.
Employees in all federal states will benefit from the new agreement – except in Berlin. According to Verdi, other tariff regulations have priority in the capital. However, the unions assume that the results will also “radiate” to employees in other areas.
“Thanks to the colleagues in the social and educational services who have fought and gone on strike over the past few days and weeks,” said Verdi chairman Frank Werneke on Wednesday evening. The agreement was “successful despite considerable resistance from municipal employers,” he said. It is “another significant step to make professions in the social and educational system more attractive and to take effective action against a shortage of skilled workers.”
dbb negotiator Andreas Hemsing also expressed his satisfaction with the result: “With this degree, we have upgraded the professional field, and our colleagues will feel that directly in their wallets.”
The President of the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA), Karin Welge, described the result as a “challenge for municipal employers”. The VKA assumes that the personnel costs of municipal employers will increase by around 3.7 percent annually due to the new allowances alone. Nevertheless, Welge expressed his relief at the conclusion. It is “a clear sign that we recognize the often outstanding performance of our employees in social and educational services with fair and appreciative remuneration,” said Welge.
The unions had been working towards the agreement that had now been reached for weeks. After two unsuccessful rounds of negotiations in February and March, the collective bargaining partners sat down again on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, the talks were moved from Potsdam to Berlin for logistical reasons. They were supposed to end on Wednesday afternoon – but dragged on for several hours until late in the evening. Participants said that there was still a lot to talk about on the last day.