Allowances and relief: There has been a breakthrough in collective bargaining for around 330,000 municipal daycare workers and other employees in social professions.

The Verdi union and the dbb civil servants’ association agreed on Wednesday evening with the municipal employers on additional days off and monthly allowances for daycare educators and employees in other social professions.

This was announced by the collective bargaining partners after around twelve hours of consultations in Berlin. The negotiations were originally supposed to be completed by 4 p.m.

Unsuccessful rounds of negotiations in February and March

After two unsuccessful rounds of negotiations in February and March, the trade unions sat down again on Monday for what is likely to be the last round of negotiations with the municipal employers. On Tuesday afternoon, the talks were moved from Potsdam to Berlin for logistical reasons. At the start of the negotiations, Verdi had threatened a “massive increase in strikes” in the event that no agreement was reached by Wednesday. There had already been warning strikes in large parts of Germany in the past few weeks.

The aim of the unions is to achieve better wages and working conditions for the around 330,000 municipal daycare workers and other employees in social professions – especially with regard to classification and the daily workload.

Goal: relief in everyday work

The relief in everyday work is considered the “crux” of the negotiations. The trade unions are aiming for more staff in municipal social and educational services in the long term and are demanding that employers compensate for staff shortages by providing employees with additional rest periods.

One of the negotiators, the President of the Association of Municipal Employers (VKA) Karin Welge, had emphasized at the start on Monday that employers were willing to compromise. However, she rejects blanket claims. “We cannot afford a general upgrade in the sense that each pay group gets more,” Welge said. “That would mean that we might have fewer people afterwards because the municipal budgets cannot bear the financial impact.” Especially with a view to the effects of the Ukraine war and higher energy prices, municipal employers should be able to offer “reliable structures”, explained the VKA President.