Berlin raises teacher salaries by almost half

Berlin raises teacher salaries by almost half
Photo: DPA
In a bid to keep Berlin’s teachers from escaping to higher paying jobs in other cities, the city-state government has decided to increase their salaries by almost 50 percent each month, daily Der Tagesspiegel reported this week.

“It is a step that costs a lot of money,” Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit told the paper on Tuesday after the decision, referring to the some €30 million in additional cost per year that will come from the salary increases and an additional 1,900 positions for educators in the city.

The average pre-tax wage for a newly employed teacher in Berlin was €2,600 a month, but beginning in August it will be almost €3,900 per month – a more competitive rate that the city hopes will make Berlin more attractive for newcomers, the paper said.

Despite the salary increase, Berlin teaching salaries will remain well below those in other parts of Germany. The city-state of Hamburg pays its young teachers more and even helps them find a flat. Meanwhile the state of Baden-Württemberg recently began a massive head hunting campaign, offering teachers up to €600 more per month for less work than teachers do in their first year in Berlin.

Torsten Ulrich, spokesperson of educator’s initiative “Civil Servant Status. Now!” called the salary increase “a step into the right direction,” but said that other problems also need to be addressed. “The main problem isn’t solved until Berlin gives teachers a civil servant status,” he told Der Tagesspiegel.

Some 20,000 teachers work as public servants in the capital, while approximately 6,000 are regular employees, the paper reported. Civil servants, or Beamte, are considered to have superior benefits that include a special health plan, an excellent pension and virtually no chance of losing their jobs.

But new Berlin teachers won’t have this option. “We are phasing out the civil servant status. That is consensus in the senate,” Mayor Klaus Wowereit told the paper.