Unions: Silberbach confirmed as chief of civil servants

The chairman of the civil servants' association dbb, Ulrich Silberbach, has been confirmed in office and called for more staff for the public service.

Unions: Silberbach confirmed as chief of civil servants

The chairman of the civil servants' association dbb, Ulrich Silberbach, has been confirmed in office and called for more staff for the public service. The 61-year-old received 404 out of 624 votes in a contest vote at the dbb trade union conference in Berlin. Silberbach's opponent, the chairman of the Association of German Secondary School Teachers, Jürgen Böhm, received 206 votes.

Silberbach, whose term of office is five years, criticized an increasing lack of staff in the municipalities, the states and the federal government. He called on the dbb to unite in a joint effort against it. "Politicians decide on endless tasks, every day - we don't even know how we are supposed to fulfill the tasks," he said. "And we don't even know how to fulfill the tasks." Those responsible constantly pressed "the economy button".

"Cannibalism We Must Experience"

According to Silberbach, the professional civil service, which is threatened from many sides, needs special protection. For a number of years, there have been 17 legislators for the salaries and pensions of civil servants, said Silberbach, with a view to the federal states and the federal government. Much of the corresponding federalism reform has been successful. "But what hasn't worked at all is this patchwork quilt, this cannibalism that we have to experience," said the dbb chairman, referring to the austerity measures in parliament and finance ministries. "The employees have to serve for it."

Born in Cologne, he has been leading the dbb since 2017. In his first election five years ago, he got 330 out of 625 votes. The association dbb civil servants' association and tarifunion brings together trade unions, mainly in the public sector, under its umbrella and has around 1.3 million members. These include salaried employees and civil servants.

Demand for 10.5 percent more income

Together with the Verdi trade union, dbb represents millions of local, state and federal employees in collective bargaining. The next round starts on January 24th; around 2.5 million federal and local employees are affected. The unions are demanding 10.5 percent more income for them.

According to dbb information, the willingness of employees to protest and take action is great before the wage round. Volker Geyer, who is responsible for collective bargaining on the dbb board, expects an increased ability to mobilize. The past collective bargaining rounds were strongly influenced by Corona, which is why it was not possible to go on strike, said Geyer, who was also confirmed in office.

"I felt very strongly that people are much more willing to take action and go on strike than in recent years," said Geyer. In the most recent collective bargaining round for the federal and local governments in 2020, there were comparatively few outstanding payments. However, the clashes were also felt at the time, for example in clinics, in local transport or in town halls and savings banks. Two years earlier, day-care center teachers, bus drivers and airport employees, among others, went on warning strikes. Geyer now explained that the employees were very worried about how to pay their rent and utility bills and how to support their families.

The dbb trade union day lasts until Wednesday. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is expected on Tuesday.

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