From police officers to teachers to castle administrators — state employees across Germany are due to get a pay raise. With extra money for health care workers, the deal could help alleviate Germany's care worker crisis.
After days of warning strikes that saw slowdowns in hospitals and closed daycares across Germany, unions and state employers agreed to pay raises for public sector employees on Saturday night.
The DBB and Verdi trade unions secured the deal after days of negotiations in the city of Potsdam with the Tarifgemeinschaft der Länder (TdL), the German state employers' umbrella organization.
What's included in the agreement:
'Best result in years'
Verdi union boss Frank Bsirske hailed the agreement as a "success" for both unions and employers.
"This is the best result in many years and a good day for civil servants," said Frank Bsirske, the head of Verdi.
Verdi and DBB initially demanded a 6 percent pay raise within 12 months, with the guarantee of at least €200 more per month. The trade unions ended up getting more than what they asked for, albeit over a longer time period than they'd initially demanded.
Matthias Kollatz, the finance minister for the city state of Berlin, who also led the negotiations for TdL, described the result as "a good compromise."
Why does the deal matter?
Saturday's agreement between the trade unions and state employers will impact police officers, emergency responders, hospital workers, teachers, the employees of certain state-owned theaters and museums, and even administrators at castles in Bavaria.
The agreement is also a step towards addressing several critical problem areas in Germany's labor market.
Germany's health care sector is suffering from major staff shortages, particularly among nurses and care workers for the elderly.
There are similar shortages at Germany's schools, daycares and kindergartens, with one teachers' association estimating that the country lacks nearly 40,000 teachers.
By increasing the amount of money for teachers and care workers, employers hope to also make the professions more attractive.
In a further attempt to draw workers to the public sector, the agreement reached on Saturday calls for an 11 percent raise for entry-level salaries.