More money and so-called regeneration days to compensate for special burdens – after three days of negotiations, the municipal employers’ associations (VKA) and Verdi agreed late on Wednesday evening to improve working conditions for 330,000 employees in the social and educational services of the municipalities.
From next July, educators will receive a monthly allowance of 130 euros. For social workers, the new allowance is even 180 euros.
At the employee’s request, the allowance can be exchanged for time, but limited to a maximum of two working days per calendar year. The new allowances alone increase the personnel costs of municipal employers in the area of social and educational services by 3.7 percent annually, the VKA announced.
Karin Welge, President and negotiator of the VKA, spoke of a “compromise that does justice to the social importance and the requirements of the activity and at the same time ensures that the municipalities continue to be able to act”. The attractiveness of the social and educational service is “enormously upgraded”.
Verdi Chairman Frank Werneke emphasized the two days of relief or regeneration that all employees will receive from this year to compensate for the increased demands. “The introduction of relief and further upgrading has been successful against the considerable resistance of municipal employers,” said Werneke. This is a key step “to counteract the shortage of skilled workers,” said Werneke.
The VKA had long resisted the relief days because the additional days off could exacerbate the shortage of skilled workers. Verdi and the civil servants’ association had argued that the social and educational services could only get the workers they needed with a material upgrade and the days off.
According to the unions, there is a shortage of around 170,000 skilled workers in the day-care centers alone. “We have to say clearly that we have gone to the extreme limit of what is feasible, both in terms of finances and working conditions,” said VKA President Welge. The head of the association is the mayor of Gelsenkirchen in the main office.
“With today’s agreement, employees in social and educational services will benefit both from this ‘special round’ and from the results of the next wage round, which will begin in early 2023,” said Welge. “Only this group of employees in the municipal public service has this special position,” said Welge.