While the employers see “convergence”, the employees’ side was disappointed. The GPA and vida unions stuck to their demand for an increase of 15 percent, but at least 400 euros. A nationwide works council conference is now planned for November 20th.
The fact that the employers have not improved their offer of 8.8 percent is “not sufficient,” explained GPA and vida in a joint release. Further measures will be discussed at the Austria-wide works council conference. “These can also include works meetings with precautionary strike resolutions,” says Eva Scherz, negotiator for the GPA union.
The social economy pays 22 percent less than the average for all sectors. Simply compensating for inflation does not reduce this gap, argued Michaela Guglberger from the vida union: “If we want to reduce the pressing shortage of personnel, the industry must become more attractive.”
The representatives of the employers, the Austrian Social Economy (SWÖ), see it differently. For SWÖ managing director Walter Marschitz, the current offer is already “significantly better” in an industry comparison than those from other employers’ associations. At plus 8.8 percent, the offer is above the rolling inflation for the period September 2022 to October 2023 (8.7 percent).
There is also “little scope” for Marschitz. “We are willing to talk at certain points and also negotiate on other topics, but everything must remain within a realistic framework. We must approach every additional measure with a sense of proportion and, if necessary, evaluate them in monetary terms,” said Marschitz.
The next round of negotiations will take place on November 27th.