Good news at a time when good news is lacking: trade unions and employers have agreed on a collective agreement for more than two million public sector employees. Of course it wasn’t. The positions were still far apart on Friday and it seemed that negotiations could fail.
The agreement is good news for nurses and healthcare professionals: you get more money. For example, in nursing, salaries increase by 8.7 percent, intensive care workers receive up to ten percent more. There is also a corona bonus. Other sectors benefit less, for example savings in savings banks are particularly low. However, it is right for the nursing staff to improve now. Anything else would be neither fair nor negotiable.
Many sisters cannot live on their salary
It is not without reason that the nurses have repeatedly pointed out in the last few months that they cannot buy anything for the applause. A survey by the German Trade Union Confederation has only recently shown that 54 percent of those employed in the care professions have major problems with their wages. It is ironic that those who sacrifice themselves every day to help people in need earn extremely poor years. With this round of collective bargaining, they are now at least a little better off. For a nurse, this means an increase of 300 euros per month. Sad enough that this was supposed to happen in order for a pandemic.
Public service workers at a strike demonstration in Potsdam Photo: ZB
Other public service employees can also be happy. Big jumps are not possible, with 1.4 percent next year and 1.8 percent the following year. But even that is a lot in times of crisis. On the one hand, the plus means a huge burden for the federal government and municipalities, which are suffering from declining tax revenues. On the other hand, employees outside the public service are in a much worse position. For them, in case of doubt, the question of a higher salary does not even arise.
For example, the appointed president of the Gesamtmetall employers’ association, Stefan Wolf, demands that employees work overtime without a bonus. That is: work more for the same money. Some may even be ready for it. In some industries, the fear of losing a job is currently too great. For example, IG Metall is preparing for collective bargaining at the end of the year with a proposal for a four-day week. It is better to work less than not at all, that is the motto.