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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Moin, dear President! Dear Colleagues! Mrs Ferschl, please allow me a comment. I refer to June 3rd. At that time, due to the corona situation, we launched a huge package for the municipalities. But that’s not the only thing. One thing is clear: we are not leaving the municipalities alone.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the FDP – Susanne Ferschl [DIE LINKE]: They are still in the air!)

When we talk about the current collective bargaining round, we are talking about 2.3 million employees of the federal government, municipalities and other areas on which this collective agreement has a direct impact. The negotiations also affect the approximately 225,000 federal civil servants; Because the negotiated increases in salaries, which may be decided upon, will be transferred to federal civil servants, judges and soldiers in a timely and systematic manner – this is a matter of course for me. But not only the salaries of the 2.5 million public service employees are being negotiated. Rather, it is about further measures to improve the working conditions of the employees. In short: it is about the appreciation of the public sector employees and the federal civil servants. Your daily effort is invaluable. Your work is a key contribution to our common good. As a society, we must – and we do – appreciate this commitment.

I agree with you: applause alone is not enough. Employees have to feel the changes: in their wallets, in their time accounts and in their work environment. But whether each claim is justified in detail or in the amount appropriate is not decided by the German Bundestag, but by the social partners themselves. We are clearly not getting involved, and I would like to tell you: That is a good thing. After all, we have collective bargaining autonomy guaranteed in Article 9 of the Basic Law. Employers, like employees, have the right to form employers’ associations or unions.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the FDP)

They also have the right to regulate their working and economic conditions on their own responsibility, free of state requirements. They are not dependent on the political compositions in the Bundestag or in the state parliaments or on other political considerations. I am proud of this long and well-proven concept. It serves the well-being of the employees and the interests of the employer alike.

So in this income round, too, two sides face each other. On the one hand we have the unions. Among other things, they are demanding a wage increase of 4.8 percent, at least 150 euros per month, 100 euros more per month for trainees, students and interns. They also demand that working hours should be shortened with additional days off. At the same time, working hours in East Germany are to be brought into line with the West. On the other hand, we have the federal government and the association of municipal employers’ associations.

(Beate Müller-Gemmeke [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: They didn’t even make an offer!)

We MEPs know all too well how tight the financial situation remains in most municipalities and for most municipal employers. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers. The unions ‘demand for remuneration alone, without considering the other demands, would mean additional costs for the municipal employers’ associations amounting to 5.7 billion euros. The federal government expects additional costs of 460 million euros for employees of the federal government, and an additional 1.7 billion euros for civil servants would then be added. Given the difficult financial situation and the challenges that could still come, I can understand both sides. As the German Bundestag, however, we should withdraw. We should give the negotiations the space they need to find a friendly solution without external pressure.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

Dear colleagues, the public service is and will remain of outstanding importance to society. I can understand those who are now saying: In view of short-time working, existential fears, and export and maybe also consumption decline, one should be more cautious about raising wages in the public sector, where wages and jobs are comparatively safe.

(Contradiction by the delegate Susanne Ferschl [DIE LINKE])

For me, however, there is no question that secure jobs and good working conditions as well as fair pay make the public service attractive. That’s right, and it should stay that way. Nevertheless, we adhere to the regulation: We as the Bundestag keep out, especially because of the collective bargaining autonomy. We will, however, see to it that the necessary financial resources are included in the budget. That is our contribution to the public service.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

With this in mind, let me conclude by saying something briefly about the previous collective bargaining round. With this, all employees received an increase of at least 6.8 percent by 2020. I think that is a good foundation for the upcoming negotiations on October 22nd and 23rd.

Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki:

Please come to the end.

Petra Nicolaisen (CDU / CSU):

The negotiating partners can build on this, and we’ll do the rest. I wish you every success.

Thank you for your attention.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI