Rate poker on Valentine's Day: Warning strikes in Hesse are not ruled out

Sunday February 11, 4:01 am: Warning strikes and then more money for state employees? Only two months after the conclusion of the collective negotiations for public services for the other 15 federal states, these negotiations are now also beginning for Hesse. It is the only federal state that is not a member of the employers' association Tarifgemeinschaft deutscher Länder (TdL). Collective bargaining for the approximately 45,000 Hessian state employees, for example in road maintenance departments, in the forestry sector, in courts and in prisons, is therefore carried out independently. The event begins on Ash Wednesday, also Valentine's Day, at the Hessian Ministry of the Interior in Wiesbaden.

Warning strikes cannot be ruled out if the state does not adapt to the unions, says spokesperson for the Verdi service union in Hesse, Ute Fritzel. Does the agreement reached by the other 15 countries in December facilitate the negotiations? “You look at it, but you try to put your own accents,” adds the speaker. Public sector employees from other countries will receive special payments and a 5.5 percent salary increase for a period of 25 months until October 2025.

The demands of the Hessian unions for a twelve-month period are: 500 additional gross euros per month, but at least 10.5 percent more, as well as 260 additional gross euros per month for apprentices. In addition, it is expected that by 2025 35 percent of scientific and artistic employees will receive a permanent employment contract. The attending students should be included in the collective agreement of the state of Hesse.

The unions point to price increases over the past two years, which have not been compensated at all by previous collective agreements. A significant increase in wages is also necessary for Hesse to survive on the labor market in the future. For example, by 2030 there will be a shortage of thousands of trained teachers in schools.

For the first time, the new Minister of the Interior, Roman Poseck, is leading collective bargaining in the state of Hesse. In his own words, the Christian Democrat considers the demands of the unions unsustainable. “Taxpayers are not entitled to a salary increase of the required amount of 10.5 percent or at least 500 euros, taking into account an average inflation rate in Hesse for 2023 of 5.8 percent, which recently fell to 2, 2 percent in January 2024. However, he hopes for “good and constructive negotiations that take into account both the interests of employees and the financial impact on the state budget.”

According to Verdi's spokesperson Fritzel, the next rounds of negotiations are scheduled for March 6 and 7 in Dietzenbach, in the district of Offenbach, and March 14 and 15 in Bad Homburg. On the union side, in addition to Verdi, there are also the Public Service Association and the DBB Collective Bargaining Union, the Police Union (GdP), the Education and Science Union (GEW) and the Construction-Agrar Industrial Union -Environment (IG BAU). also involved.

Again warning strike at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports

21:13: At the beginning of the winter holidays in Saxony, passengers at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports should expect significant restrictions due to another warning strike. The Verdi union has called on the employees of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG to go on strike on Sunday and Monday. “Major disruptions to passenger traffic are to be expected,” a spokesperson for the airport operator said on Friday. This is the third warning strike at Saxon airports this year.

According to Verdi, there is still a long way to go to reach an agreement in collective bargaining. “The strikes did not fail to have their effect,” explained negotiator Paul Schmidt. Most employers' demands for cuts are off the table. “This must now apply to the rest as well. At the same time, the revenue offering remains well below our expectations. With the figures presented, inflation would not be reduced either
“Connection with other airports can still be achieved in a balanced way.”

The union demands, among other things, an increase in table fees of 650 euros by 2024 and inflation compensation of 3,000 euros. The employers had offered a salary increase of 330 euros over the next three years and inflation compensation of 2,200 euros this year, Verdi explained.

According to the airport operator, the strike affects just over 100 flights in Leipzig/Halle and Dresden. “Recently, during the warning strikes, all traffic was paralyzed,” the spokesperson stressed. The warning strike is ruining the vacation plans of thousands of passengers.

The spokesperson explained that the improved offer presented on Thursday included an above-average salary increase, especially for employees in the lowest salary groups. “This offer exceeds the financial limits of our company.” It was agreed to continue negotiations at the end of February. “In this context, such a massive strike is absolutely incomprehensible and difficult to convey to airline passengers and customers.”

collective agreement nachieved after the first practice staff strike

Friday, February 9, 08:29 hours: Following an agreement in the collective dispute between medical assistants and their employers, no further warning strikes are expected at the moment. At least 2,000 medical assistants participated in the first work stoppage that the Association of Medical Professionals (vmf) called on clinic staff this Thursday to emphasize their demands for more salaries and better working conditions, apparently with success. As the parties to the collective bargaining agreement confirmed on Thursday, a conclusion was reached in the fourth round of negotiations that the responsible commissions must now accept.

The result will be reported only after the declaration period ends on February 16, it was said. On the part of employers, the working group for the regulation of working conditions of medical assistants and medical assistants, then spoke of “constructive discussions characterized by a willingness to compromise.”

For the first time in its history, the Medical Professionals Association called on the 330,000 medical assistants (MFAs) working in ambulatory care nationwide to go on a warning strike. The president of the association, Hannelore König, was satisfied with the response: “The salary and employment situation at the MFA is discussed in public. “This pressure appears to have had an impact on our negotiations,” she said, according to the statement.

Various medical associations also stood in solidarity with the strikers, politicians and health insurance companies to offset the necessary increases in personnel costs.

For more pay: more than 2,000 clinic employees are on strike

15:50: At least 2,000 medical assistants stopped working this Thursday, disrupting processes at numerous medical offices across the country. According to the Association of Medical Professionals (vmf), a total of 1,000 people wanted to participate in the demonstrations in several German cities alone, a spokeswoman said. Many also told the association that they wanted to follow the call for an all-day strike even without participating in the demonstration. However, it can be assumed that other consultation staff would also participate.

For the first time in its history, the association asked the 330,000 physician assistants (MFAs) working in ambulatory care nationwide to stop working. The president of the association, Hannelore König, was satisfied with the response to the warning strike. “Today the effects will not be felt across the board, but when the Foreign Ministry does not act, it is a glimpse of what will happen if we do not increase salaries,” König told the German Press Agency. “Without significant improvements to the MFA, outpatient patient care is at risk.” An increasing number of staff are migrating from practices to clinics or other areas of work due to better remuneration.

In the ongoing collective negotiations, the association wants to emphasize the demand for better salaries. Several medical associations expressed their solidarity with the strikers and called on politicians and health insurance companies to compensate accordingly for the necessary increases in personnel costs. The largest rallies, with around 200 participants, will be held in Berlin and Nuremberg. There are also protests in Dortmund, Hamburg, Marburg and Stuttgart.

In the striking clinics, significant delays in processes and longer waiting times are expected, so patients are asked for their understanding, said a spokeswoman for the association. In addition to registration and scheduling appointments, work areas also include assistance with exams, treatments, and surgical procedures. According to the information, the MFA is also responsible for documentation, hygiene measures, practice management and billing.

More information about notice strikes read on the following pages.