In the second round of collective bargaining for the approximately 2.5 million employees in the federal and local governments, the unions insisted on an offer from the employers' side. Otherwise, the previous warning strikes could be extended. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser was optimistic that a solution would be found.
"Now it's the employer's turn," said Verdi boss Frank Werneke at the beginning of the round of negotiations in Potsdam. "We expect that there will be an offer. An offer that doesn't mean tactics, but that gives prospects for a degree." The past few weeks have shown that Verdi is capable of striking and mobilizing across the entire range of public services. "And of course that can be expanded at any time," said Werneke.
So far, there has been no significant rapprochement in the collective bargaining dispute. Verdi and the civil servants' association dbb are calling for an increase in income of 10.5 percent, but at least 500 euros per month for a period of twelve months, for employees at the federal and municipal level. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the minimum amount in the lower pay groups would result in increases of over 20 percent in some cases. Apprentices, students and interns should receive 200 euros more per month.
Sustainable solutions in sight?
Interior Minister Faeser was "convinced that we will find viable solutions in the next two days". She will work to ensure that there will be an offer from the employer side.
The association of municipal employers' associations sounded less optimistic. According to CEO Wolf-Rüdiger Michel, the positions of the negotiators are still very far apart. The tariff demands are not to be shouldered. The municipalities would also have to invest in schools, in kindergartens or in the mobility transition, said Michel. That would not be possible without a significant increase in fees and charges. "And I can't imagine that with the current burden on the citizens."
The dbb called on the municipalities to support their employees in the fight. "Instead of against their own employees, the municipalities should rather fight with them for better financial resources," said the chairman, Ulrich Silberbach. We are aware of the corresponding concerns of the city treasurers, but "the situation is not the fault of the colleagues or an income development that is getting out of hand. The responsibility for this lies with the federal government and above all with the federal states, which support the cities and municipalities financially bleed out."
The negotiations concern, among other things, educators, nurses, bus drivers, geriatric nurses, firefighters, garbage workers and a number of other professions. Numerous employees gathered in front of the court in Potsdam on Wednesday to put their demands under pressure. "Especially when inflation is so high, we have to earn a little more somewhere. And it's also very important to me that the focus is on the trainees here, so they get more money," said educator André Kuhr. Inflation is noticeable.
Pressemappe des BMI Infos von Verdi