Strikes to shut down schools and offices across Germany

DPA/The Local
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Strikes to shut down schools and offices across Germany
Strikes already took place in Hamburg on Monday with a sign reading "Close the gap" and spelling out 'Gerechtigkeit', or fairness. Photo: DPA

Parents of nursery and school children, health care patients and many others will feel the effects of warning strikes in the public sector starting this Tuesday morning.


In Berlin, educators, teachers and social workers have been called upon to take a two-day strike, and about half of all day-care centres will remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, reported the Berliner Morgenpost.

Public sector strikes also affected Berlin’s public services on February 13th, with many closures throughout the city.

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Throughout Germany, public sector unions are demanding six percent more salary - at least an additional 200 per month. They also are asking for an increase of 300 in salary for nursing care, and that apprentices and trainees in all sectors receive an additional 100 per month.

"Work in the public sector must become more attractive again,” said GEW (Union for Education and Science) chairwoman Marlis Tepe on Monday at a rally in Hamburg, at which around 3,000 of the city's public sector employees gathered.

“Many institutions are already no longer in a position to fill vacancies because too few young people are deciding to work in the state service," she added.

Full-day warning strikes and central rallies are also taking place in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, according to the Verdi union.

Among other things, the strike will also affect administrations, road construction work, libraries, university clinics, universities and student unions as well as vocational schools.

In Baden-Württemberg, the state's psychiatric hospitals will be on strike on Tuesday.

Large demonstrations and rallies will take place on Tuesday in Düsseldorf, Munich and Saarbrücken. Verdi boss Frank Bsirske and the federal chairman of the Civil Servants' Association (DBB), Ulrich Silberbach, will speak at a central rally in front of the state parliament in Düsseldorf.

This Thursday, trade unions and state representatives will meet in Potsdam for a third round of negotiations. A breakthrough agreement this weekend is considered possible, according to the DBB.

Negotiations will be held for one million wage-earners in the states other than Hesse, which has its own collective bargaining system.


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