Jan. 21, 2020 The ver.di health union, working with the German Hospital Association and German Nursing Council, has made a major breakthrough in developing a staffing assessment tool that should help deliver safe staffing levels. It means that each hospital section will be assessed both in terms of patient care needs and number of employees required to ensure the health and workload of nursing staff. Tested in 44 hospitals, the system has proven that it can be practically implemented. Ver.di believes this will make a real difference to the longstanding challenge of tackling staff shortages and wants the system introduced as a nationwide regulation. It understands, however, that a transition period will be required in order to begin to address the estimated 80000 shortfall in nursing staff across the country.
Jan. 06, 2020 Both the ver.di service union and the BVAP employers' organisation report making good progress in their negotiations on a first-ever sector agreement covering eldercare providers. The two sides have also confirmed that they will apply to the labour ministry to have the agreement extended to cover all providers in the sector even if they are not party to the negotiations. The next round of negotiations will take place on 4-5 February. In the meantime the two sides report specific progress on a separate agreement covering trainees that will ensure pay will eventually match that for trainees in the healthcare sector.
Dec. 18, 2019 Public services union ver.di has negotiated a new pay deal with waste and recycling company Schönmackers. The company has 1500 employees and operates in the North Rhine Westphalia region. The agreement includes a pay increase of 3.6% from March 2020 and a further 1.3% from August 2021. There is an EUR 80 increase on trainee pay and the agreement runs to the end of January 2022. Meanwhile there is no progress in the GWE negotiations covering 7700 energy and water workers in the same region. Ver.di has rejected as completely inadequate a pay offer over 28 months that would equate to only 1.75% in the first year and 1.57% in the second year.
Nov. 19, 2019 After a series of warning strikes involving over 3000 workers, public service union ver.di has negotiated a new 28-month agreement covering 28000 employees of four university clinics in the Baden-Württemberg region. The deal is worth 7.1% paid in two stages (1 November 2019 and 1 February 2020). As a result of legislation that provides funding to ensure increased staffing of nursing and care personnel, these workers will get an extra EUR 200 a month. But ver.di has negotiated with the four hospitals to cover more occupations than those specified in the law.
Nov. 05, 2019 Workers at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony are continuing their strike action to secure a collective agreement despite management's aggressive anti-strike measures (see EPSU Collective Bargaining News 19, October). Public services union ver.di has condemned the hospital owners, Askeplios, for failing to agree a minimum service agreement, threatening workers with the sack and offering strike-breaking bonuses. Further action was taken on 1 November despite the employer's intimidation and on the basis of the union's own proposal for minimum service.
Oct. 22, 2019 Public service union ver.di has undertaken a major survey covering over 210000 workers in the public sector and just under 18000 in private and non-profit health and social care. The survey found that 92% of workers thought it important to have a choice between more pay and fewer hours and 57% would actually swap a pay increase for an hours cut. Overall of those wanting shorter hours, 45% wanted to work fewer days while 30% wanted a working time account to allow for more holidays or the option to retire earlier. The union will consult further in the lead up to next year's public sector negotiations.
Oct. 09, 2019 Over 200 staff at the Schildautal hospital in Seesen in Lower Saxony took strike action on 4 October in defiance of threats from management that they would be dismissed. The hospital is owned by Asklepios, the second biggest private hospital group in Germany. The health union ver.di wants to negotiate a collective agreement that would bring pay in line with the public sector. However, the company not only refuses to negotiate but has threatened strikers with the sack and promised bonuses to strike breakers. The recent ver.di congress sent a message of solidarity to workers at the hospital.
Oct. 01, 2019
Increasing the minimum wage to 12 Euros was one of the demands that rallied the delegates to the German union’s Congress of Verdi.
Sep. 26, 2019 The ver.di health union at the KfH, a national institute for dialysis and kidney transplants employing around 7000 workers, is planning its next pay claim with a view to closing the pay gap with the main public sector agreement which is between 5%-11% depending on the occupation. The union is also aiming to negotiate several improvements in pay and conditions that will apply only to ver.di members. The main demand will be for an 8% pay rise covering the 12-month period from 1 January 2020. The union also wants a system of variable payments to be replaced with a single fixed holiday payment of ERU 1500, again specifically for ver.di members. The claim also includes improvements for trainees.
Sep. 13, 2019 Members of the ver.di public services union employed by the private healthcare company Asklepios are taking action across the country to try to secure collective agreements. Only a third of the company's 46000 workers are covered by an agreement with most facing unilateral decisions by management on their pay. In some facilities this means employees are being paid EUR 1000 a month less than those doing the equivalent job in a public sector hospital. In some cases workers have rejected higher pay offers from management and demanded that the union be able to negotiate a collective agreement.
Aug. 23, 2019 Following talks with the BVAP eldercare employers' organisation, the ver.di services union has confirmed that both parties are committed to negotiate a sector collective agreement by the end of the year. They have also made it clear that they want the labour ministry to extend the agreement to cover all employers in the sector to prevent those paying low wages from undercutting the agreement. Ver.di and BVAP believe this is essential to ensuring decent pay in the sector and making occupations eldercare more attractive to workers.
Aug. 08, 2019 The WSI trade union-linked research organisation has published its half-year analysis of pay settlements and noted that the average increase of 3.2% is slightly up on last year's 3.0%. With inflation averaging 1.6% this means average real wage increases of 1.6%. WSI says this confirms an upward trend in pay and notes that in the first half of this year some of the large agreements have registered the highest increases, including engineering (4.1%), iron and steel (3.9%) and regional government (3.6%).
Aug. 07, 2019 Services union ver.di has managed to organise and make progress towards a collective agreement in the uni-assist agency that checks applications to universities from overseas students. The agency was set up in 2003 and now has 300 employees, with ver.di membership now at 60% of those on permanent contracts. The union is aiming to secure an agreement in line with the public sector agreement and is focusing on a number of specific issues including a reduction to a 38.5 hour week from 40 hours. The agency is now a guest member of the Berlin municipal employers' organisation but without committing to sign up to the sector agreement. Ver.di has drafted a collective agreement and hopes to make progress in negotiations with the agency but doesn't rule out action, including warning strikes, to put pressure on the employers.