Employees of church-based organisation flex their bargaining muscles

Germany

For the first time, employees working at care facilities run by the Protestant church in Hesse in central-west Germany are mobilising to support their union ver.di in collective bargaining. The workers have only been covered by a collective agreement since April 2022 and so building support for their key demand – an increase of €450 a month – is a new experience. They managed to get over 550 signatures on a petition handed to management. In the past, pay and working conditions were simply laid down in church employment contract guidelines. The collective agreement negotiated by ver.di and the Diakonie elderly care employers’ association covers around 1700 workers in a range of institutions. The claim is for a flat-rate increase of €450 a month for all workers to ensure that lower paid workers in particular benefit. Negotiations resume on 26 July.

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