Two-week-long public sector strikes begin across Germany
Employees across Germany’s public sector, including school teachers, Kita carers, hospital staff and administrative workers have begun a two-week-long warning strike that will impact all federal states.
Warning strikes set to disrupt German public sector services
Public sector workers in Germany have begun a two-week-long strike. School teachers, Kita workers, emergency services, employees in district offices (Bezirksämter), universities, hospitals, cultural institutions and more across the country are demanding improved working conditions and pay rises.
The so-called warning strike (Warnstreik) comes after a second round of unfruitful negotiations between the governments of the 16 German federal states and their public sector employees. Announcing the action, ver.di said that the strike is a response to “[A] dramatic situation in public services, job vacancies cannot be filled due to poor conditions, increasing workloads - the employees are at their limit and no longer want to accept increasing pressure”.
Employees taking part in the strike are asking for a 10,5 percent increase in wages or an increase of at least 500 euros per month, an increased wage for those who work in city-states - since they work at the state and communal level - a collective agreement for student employees and improved working conditions in the road services sector.
Overall, the strike concerns the working conditions of around 1,1 million people in Germany. Further negotiations between the state governments and ver.di are scheduled to continue on December 7 and 8, 2023.
Which federal states will be the worst affected by the strikes?
In its press release, ver.di emphasised that public sector employees across all of Germany’s federal states are expected to join the industrial action, “from Baden-Württemberg to Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, from Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, to the east in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and to Berlin.”
That said, the strikes are likely to have a greater impact on some states than others, namely Berlin, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.
If you have an appointment for official issues, study at a university, have a non-urgent operation scheduled or have children attending school or Kita in any of these states, it is worth staying up to date over the next two weeks since these institutions will certainly be affected.
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