Day care strike spreads to eastern states ahead of negotiations

Day care strike spreads to eastern states ahead of negotiations
Photo: DPA
An ongoing strike by day care workers expanded to states in eastern Germany for the first time on Tuesday in an attempt to increase pressure on public employers to provide better working conditions and wages.

Educators and social workers at Kindergartens in the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria and Hamburg did not show up for the early shift.

Public workers’ union Verdi estimated that more than 20,000 workers would take part in the strike, forcing parents to come up with alternative care or stay home from work. So far some 45,000 workers have taken part in the last week.

Verdi and the Education and Science Workers’ Union (GEW), which is also organising the strikes, plans to meet with state employers in Berlin on Wednesday to hammer out new contracts for workers.

Current wages for 220,000 educators across the country are unfair, and workers need better healthcare options to handle the strain of their jobs, they say.

According to union figures, only 58 percent of social workers and 26 percent of educators see themselves reaching retirement in good health under the current working conditions.

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