22 October saw public services union ver.di involved in two major negotiations. The third round of bargaining covering municipal and federal employees was underway with ver.di underlining the importance of a decent settlement in recognition of the work carried out by public service workers during the current pandemic. The union expects the employers to continue to stress the problems facing public finance and to push for a long-term deal with small pay increases. Ver.di mobilised through warning strikes and online action in the lead up to the negotiations. Meanwhile, negotiations covering 50000 employees of the German Red Cross got underway with ver.di calling for a 5.5% increase in a 12-month agreement with a minimum increase of EUR 150 a month. The union wants additional payments for emergency service staff and care workers and a 35% bonus for anyone working with COVID-19 patients. Verdi is also calling for an end to the practice of working additional hours with no extra pay.
Latest on negotiations in health and public service
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Progress with collective bargaining in the public sector has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Around 2.1 million workers are covered by the agreement for Federal and Municipal government which was last negotiated in 2018 and runs until 31 August this year. The trade union ver.di convened its collective bargaining committee earlier this month where it postponed the decision to formally give notice on the end of the agreement which would start negotiations. There will be an opening discussion with the VKA employers' organisation on 16 June and the collective bargaining committee will
After intensive negotiations over the weekend, public services union ver.di has negotiated a new collective agreement covering 2.3 million workers in municipal and federal government with specific measures benefiting employees in health and social care.
The HK Kommunal local government union is consulting members for their proposals on what should be included in the upcoming public sector negotiations. Normally the union organises workplace visits across the country, but this year there an online survey because of the continuing impact of COVID-19. HK Kommunal underlines the importance of the consultation and being able to present a series of demands that have wide support across the membership. There had been some discussion about postponing negotiations and extending agreements for a year but this is not confirmed and so consultations