The disputes between Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) and its director Patricia Schlesinger, who was fired last year, are entering the next round: Schlesinger is taking her former employer to court. However, she is not complaining about her dismissal, but is demanding "only 18,384.54 euros per month" in company pension. This is reported by "Business Insider" and quoted an e-mail from Schlesinger's lawyer Ralf Höcker.
The amount of the pension she demands is made up as follows: Schlesinger's last basic salary in July 2022 was around 28,000 euros a month. With this in mind, in August 2022 she demanded an immediate company pension of 22,700 euros – i.e. 81 percent of her base salary.
When Schlesinger started as director of RBB in mid-2021, she adopted the conditions of her predecessor Dagmar Reim in her contract of employment. According to this, you are entitled to a maximum of 60 percent of your last salary as a pension. However, Schlesinger questioned her pension benefits at RBB in February 2021 after consulting other directors in the ARD network. She is said to have claimed "that the director of another major broadcaster has a pension entitlement of 80 percent of his last salary," Business Insider quoted a person familiar with the process as saying.
As a result, Schlesinger got a new service contract – without a pension cap, but with a higher base salary and improved pension conditions. While her base salary should automatically increase by two percent annually, her pension was already 63 percent of base salary at the start of the contract and should continue to increase by "3 percentage points per year".
From when exactly Schlesinger's modified pension conditions should come into force is now to be clarified in court. The former RBB director is of the opinion that she was entitled to a pension of 63 percent at the beginning of her first employment contract in 2016, which rose to 81 percent by the time she was dismissed in August 2022. In the eyes of the RBB lawyers, this is an unfounded maximum demand. According to them, Schlesinger is entitled to a maximum of 66 percent of the last basic salary – still 18,400 euros per month.
On August 22, 2022, the RBB board of directors terminated the contract with Schlesinger “as a precaution, extraordinarily and without notice”. In addition, the Board of Directors decided to abolish Schlesinger's entitlement to a pension – and thus the unconditional transitional payment until she reaches retirement age and the company pension that follows. The question of whether and how much pension the former RBB director is entitled to is now to be clarified by the Berlin Regional Court.
Sources: "Business Insider", "t-online"