German cleaning sector reaches new labour agreement

23rd of December 2015
German cleaning sector reaches new labour agreement

German correspondent Thomas Schulte-Marxloh reports on a new labour agreement in cleaning.

In the context of a new labour agreement for about 600,000 employees in the contract cleaning industry, employers reinforced their commitment to minimum wages. “We introduced minimum wages at a time when politicians were still discussing it. Now we have again underlined our position that we advocate tariff agreements for the contract cleaning industry,” Thomas Conrady, chairman of the tariff commission of the German contract cleaning association BIV and Johannes Bungart, its managing director explained in a joint  statement.

The new labour agreement will come into effect in January 2016 and will be valid for two years. Employees in the western part of Germany will receive 10 euro per hour which is 1.5 euro above the statutory minimum wage. Employees in the eastern part of Germany will receive 9.05 euro per hour which is also above the statutory minimum.

The first increase of the tariff wages in wage group I – 75 per cent of German employees in the contract cleaning industry belong to this group – will be 2.6 per cent in Western Germany and 2.4 per cent in Eastern Germany.

In a second step, coming into effect in January 2017, the wage increase will be two per cent in west Germany and four per cent in east Germany. The harmonisation of wages across Germany also makes some progress and will reach 90.7 per cent in 2017.

Other employees in the contract cleaning industry will also receive more money to a comparable extent, due to the new tariff agreement.

Representatives of the employer’s association and the IG BAU (union of the employees) were able to achieve the new labour agreement after 18 hours of negotiations. Conrady explained: “We, the employers, said right from the beginning: we want an agreement that corresponds to the general economic development. With this compromise, we have reached the limits of our capacity.

"It was our goal to avoid both time without tariff agreement and strikes. We finally achieved this goal. I appreciate the efforts of the union IG BAU to reach a consensus in a constructive way. The agreement provides legal security for the 600,000 employees of our industry, for the contact cleaning companies and their customers.”

Both parties also agreed on limits regarding a concentration of work performance. According to the union they aimed at measures to avoid overtime of the employees before and after raised tariff wages. The union also calls for measures regarding qualification and training, improved education and better work and health protection.

“The employees also want to participate in the development of the industry. Their knowledge and experience should be considered in an agreement on overtime. This way it can be guaranteed employees really benefit from an increase of wages”, says Ulrike Laux, chairwoman of the union’s representatives in the negotiations.

After very unpleasant negotiations between other unions and employers, the agreement in the contract cleaning industry was achieved almost in silence and without damage.


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