Due to warning strikes at daycare centers, many parents had to organize alternative care for their children on Wednesday. According to the Verdi trade union, around 70,000 employees in social facilities, including kindergartens and crèches, stopped working nationwide.
The background is the ongoing collective bargaining conflict with the federal and local governments. The warning strikes are a reaction to the "completely inadequate offer from employers," Verdi said. During the last negotiations about two weeks ago, both sides parted without a result.
Rallies in many cities
Work stoppages broke out across the country on Wednesday, with the exception of Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where International Women's Day is a public holiday. According to Verdi, municipal kindergartens and crèches remained closed in many cities in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, and several hundred facilities were affected in Saxony. According to the information, 2,500 employees took part in the warning strike in Schleswig-Holstein. There were also rallies in many cities, to which the unions had called.
The focus on women's day should be the area of social work, since 83 percent of the employees in daycare centers, youth welfare offices or advice centers are women, as Verdi said.
"We want bread and roses, we want recognition and power, and we want higher wages and better working conditions," said Yasmin Fahimi, chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation, at a rally in Hennigsdorf, Brandenburg. The last offer made by the federal and local authorities as employers in the collective bargaining was a mockery. "Anyone who is looking for skilled workers cannot do without women and must pay them decently." According to the Federal Statistical Office, trained specialists in day-care centers earned an average of a good 3400 euros gross per month full-time in 2021.
At least 500 euros more
Verdi and the civil servants' association dbb are also demanding 10.5 percent more wages for the approximately 2.5 million federal and local employees in view of the high inflation. But there should be at least 500 euros more. In addition to day-care center employees and social workers, members of a wide variety of professions are affected: bus drivers, pool employees, firefighters, nurses and geriatric nurses, administrative employees, sewage treatment plant employees, foresters and doctors.
The employers had recently offered, among other things, a pay increase of five percent in two steps and one-off payments totaling 2,500 euros. The next and probably decisive negotiations are planned for the end of the month. Until then, there should be more warning strikes.
In many cities, there had already been walkouts in local public transport. Walkouts had also largely paralyzed Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn airports. The Association of Municipal Employers' Associations (VKA) says it has no understanding of the actions, especially since the negotiations are still on schedule.
Karin Welge, chief negotiator and VKA President, accused the unions of carrying out collective bargaining policies at the expense of parents and young families with regard to the daycare warning strikes.