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Public service: Breakthrough in tariff poker: More money for state employees

Public service: Breakthrough in tariff poker: More money for state employees

There should be more money for the federal states’ employees before Christmas. Special payments, 200 euros and 5.5 percent more wages – that is the collective agreement result after tough negotiations.

Breakthrough after days of negotiations: State public sector employees receive special payments and a wage increase of 5.5 percent. The unions and the Collective Bargaining Association of German States (TdL) announced this on Saturday after three days of talks in Potsdam. “We now have a negotiation result that is valuable,” said the head of the Verdi union, Frank Werneke. It was “really outstanding”.

All public sector employees are currently equally affected by high prices, said Werneke. As a result, inflation compensation payments totaling 3,000 euros are planned. In December, 1,800 euros should flow or at least be allocated; The money could not arrive in the accounts until the new year. From January to October 2024 there are monthly payments of 120 euros each.

What was still decided

From November 1, 2024, the incomes of more than one million employees will increase by a base amount of 200 euros. This is particularly important for the lower wage groups. From February 1, 2025, there will be a further wage increase of 5.5 percent. The term is 25 months until October 2025.

Werneke was confident that the deal could address the “rampant labor shortage”. The head of the civil service association dbb, Ulrich Silberbach, complained that 300,000 employees were already missing from administrative service.

High costs for countries

For the states, the agreement means additional costs of 23.9 billion, as the state negotiator, Hamburg’s Finance Senator Andreas Dressel (SPD), announced. He described the countries’ balancing act as follows: “Public budgets are in crisis mode, and at the same time it is becoming more difficult for us as countries to recruit and retain staff.” It is an “overall challenging result”, but it is feasible over three financial years.

Verdi boss Werneke was satisfied that the income of state employees was now in line with the wages of federal and local employees. “Federal, state and local governments – from our point of view, this is a public service.” In April, the unions concluded a corresponding agreement with the federal and local governments with special payments, a base amount and 5.5 percent more wages.

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) said it was “a fair compromise in difficult times.” He thanked both sides for their sense of responsibility. Bavaria’s Finance Minister Albert Füracker (CSU) spoke of a “great show of strength”. “The necessary additional expenditure will not be easy to meet,” he said in Munich.

Calm on the strike front

Further warning strikes are now off the table. Werneke said the collective agreement result had come about through enormous mobilization. “It is a result that the employees fought for themselves.” Employees at universities, university hospitals and other state institutions had been on strike for weeks. This shows that unions are working, said Werneke.

Silberbach was happy that the employees would now not have to go on so-called “forced strikes”. After the nationwide rail strike and in view of the current budget crisis, he had already pushed for a conclusion this year: “Christmas is the festival of peace and joy.” That’s why it’s pleasing that “a tick” has now been put under the conflict.

More money for trainees too

According to the agreement, trainees and interns will receive an inflation compensation of 1,000 euros in December. Training fees will increase by 100 euros from November 2024 and later by another 50 euros. A minimum hourly wage of 13.98 euros is also to be introduced for student assistants in two stages.

The states’ conclusions should now also be transferred to civil servants – this affects more than three million employees.

Source: Stern

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