No other group of employees is as popular as educators. The appreciation for parents is obvious, but politicians, employers and unions are now also aware of the importance of early childhood care. According to city employers, government spending on childcare has increased by 140 percent since 2010 – to EUR 38 billion last year.
Up to 180 euros extra
This cannot be explained solely by additional day-care places and longer care times. Workers’ incomes also rose above average: in so-called modernization rounds that took place outside of normal, regular wage negotiations, the Verdi services union was able to achieve better working conditions in 2009, 2015 and most recently in the middle of -May: Since July, caregivers and social workers will receive 130 euros a month, even an additional 180 euros. There are also two extra days off per year due to the heavy workload in kindergartens.
The special role of nursery staff
“Social and educational service workers will benefit from this ‘special round’ as well as the results of the next pay round, which will start in early 2023.” – commented the May wage compromise Karin Welge, mayor of Gelsenkirchen. As a result, this group of employees plays a special role in the city’s public service, emphasized Welge, who as honorary president of the municipal employers’ association (VKA) conducts collective bargaining. Therefore, communes have to pay higher salaries and console themselves with the fact that “the attractiveness of communal social and educational services is visibly increasing”. It is also necessary in the competition for employees.
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competition for qualified employees
Verdi calculated that about 170,000 specialists are missing from social and educational services. In total, almost 800,000 people work in this area. people, most of them in community centers. Approximately 330,000 people work in local governments. people, most of the rest work in institutions run by charities or independent organizations. The workers there have to be patient: it is not clear when or how a raise will affect them. “Our collective bargaining for municipalities is a key currency, churches and charities usually adopt it 1: 1,” says Verdi Vice-President Christine Behle.
One million church workers
The largest employers are the Church welfare organizations Caritas (Catholics) and Diakonie (Protestants), followed by the workers’ social welfare organization, joint welfare organization and independent providers. There are also city-states, such as Berlin, where the salaries of kindergarten workers are regulated in the collective agreements of the Länder. The next negotiations are not to take place until autumn 2023. With 250,000 employees in social and educational services, Caritas is the largest employer, with approximately 130,000 educators working in Diakonie institutions. Evangelische Diakonie itself maintains 9,107 nurseries, kindergartens and community centers in Germany, where over 579,000 children look after each day.
The third way without relationships
Working conditions under the roof of the church are based on the so-called the third way, which dates back to the imperial constitution of the Weimar Republic. Income, working hours and holidays are not determined unilaterally by the employer (1st way), nor are they shaped by collective bargaining based on collective bargaining with the option of protest by trade unions and employers (2nd way). “The Church’s right to self-determination allows (Diakonie and Caritas) to adapt their labor relations to the Church’s mission and model of a Christian community of service,” describes Diakonie a third way in which the workers’ side is not consensus-oriented. allowed to enforce their demands through strikes. Rather, they are labor law committees, composed of an equal number of employers and employees, who decide on working conditions.
45,000 doctors in Caritas
For example, on June 30, the Caritas commission met to decide on a salary increase for some 45,000 doctors in Catholic hospitals. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, Caritas operates over 200 hospitals. At the beginning of May, municipal employers agreed with the medical association Marburger Bund to raise wages for 60,000. doctors in municipal hospitals by 3.35% retrospectively from October, extra vacation day and roster changes. At the end of June, the Caritas labor law commission decides which parts of the municipal wage contract will be accepted.
decision in October
Social and educational service workers will have to wait even longer: the Caritas Commission will only deal with the adoption of the May wage contract at the next committee meeting in October. “We usually take over,” said Norbert Altmann, spokesman for the employer / employer side on request. A special feature is helping people with disabilities, in this area Caritas employs much more staff than other institutions and must carefully look at ways of taking over.
In fact, the church’s welfare organizations have also accepted that “wages in the skilled worker sector are going up,” says Altmann. Otherwise, churches, one of the country’s largest employers with a good million workers, will also be unemployed. But by no means do they want to deviate from the third way of setting wages: in this way churches keep trade unions at bay.