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Rail strike: How much do train drivers earn at Deutsche Bahn?

Rail strike: How much do train drivers earn at Deutsche Bahn?

A lot of responsibility, stressful shift work – and too poorly paid? The collective bargaining conflict between the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn continues to smolder. It’s (also) about money. How much do train drivers actually earn?

This article begins with disappointment. The one You won’t get the answer here (or anywhere else) as to what train drivers earn at Deutsche Bahn. The reason is simple – and at the same time very complicated: Hardly any payslip for the approximately 20,000 men and women in the driver’s cab is likely to be the same as the monthly salary is too complex.

The framework collective agreement between the GDL and the employers’ association Move provides for a monthly basic salary of 3127 euros before, that with greater professional experience up to 3825 euros (in each case gross) increases. In addition, there are Deutsche Bahn Allowances such as Christmas bonuses or bonuses.

Deutsche Bahn promises train drivers up to 53,400 euros a year

However, many train drivers are not members of the GDL, but are members of the larger Railway and Transport Union (EVG). It has negotiated its own collective agreements with Deutsche Bahn, which, among other things, provide for the possibility of forgoing more salary in favor of more free time – this also makes the salaries of the driving staff less comparable. Which collective agreement applies in which part of the widely branched group depends on which members represent the majority.

In both cases, the system is supplemented by a construct made up of dozens surchargesthat comes with being a train driver. The trains roll through the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so – as in other industries – there is more money for Sunday or night work, on-call time or additional food costs, for example. But train drivers’ salaries also increase due to certain qualifications, from special foreign language skills to teaching activities. There are also additional benefits such as subsidies for company pension schemes, capital formation benefits or free travel with Deutsche Bahn.

The bottom line is that Deutsche Bahn promises its drivers a salary of between 45,000 and 56,000 euros per year, so mathematically around 3700 to 4450 euros a month. The company mentions an average salary of 4200 euros.

Trained train drivers also remain on duty

This is slightly above the values ​​determined by independent salary comparison portals such as “kununu.com”. “Most salary information is between 38,240 and 43,680 euros,” it says there (corresponds approximately to 3200 to 3640 euros monthly). The average salary of a train driver at Deutsche Bahn is 40,700 euros per year (approx 3400 euros a month).

The system of basic salary, bonuses and allowances based on service experience also affects other (train) staff at Deutsche Bahn. The GDL framework collective agreement for conductors provides for a basic monthly salary of around 2,500 to almost 3,200 euros. The railway states that its employees in the train escort service earn around 3,200 to 4,400 euros. According to the company, the signal box staff can expect a monthly salary of between a good 3,200 and around 4,800 euros.

In addition to the train drivers employed by Deutsche Bahn, there are still thousands of civil servants who control railcars and locomotives in this country. Deutsche Bahn AG took it over from the Deutsche Bundesbahn after it was founded in 1994. They will continue to be paid in accordance with the federal salary regulations. The basic salaries for the middle service here are between just under 2500 and 3900 euros. This system is also supplemented by allowances and surcharges. The civil service train drivers are not allowed to take part in any further strikes by the GDL – and can at least ensure that an emergency timetable can be maintained.

Editor’s note: Information from the railway regarding earning potential was subsequently added. The article first appeared on November 28, 2023.

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Source: Stern

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