Day care strikes called ahead of wage talks

Unions called public day care workers to another day of strikes on Tuesday ahead of renewed negotiations with state employers.

Day care strikes called ahead of wage talks
Photo: DPA

The public workers’ union Verdi and Science Workers’ Union (GEW) said many day care centres – also known as Kitas – would remain closed in the states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The strike ahead of negotiations scheduled for Tuesday morning, where the unions hope to pressure state employers to provide better health care options and higher wages for some 220,000 educators and social workers.

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.

Depending on salary bracket, the unions want a wage increase of between €200 and €1,000, but state employers previously offered a total increase of €220 during the last round of failed negotiations.

“So far there is not sign of a negotiable offer,” a Verdi spokesperson said from Frankfurt. “Our hope however is that the employers put something on the table.”

The unions, which have been calling Kita workers across the country to strike for the last three weeks, have threatened to intensify their actions if employers don’t make a palatable offer.

Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a mother of seven, recently told the media that German society need to take more notice of the important work of child care workers.

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