The agreement shows that we are exiting the crisis period and that workers are standing up for their rights for a fair share in the recovery
The new agreement of the metal and electrical industries in Baden Württemberg – which is set to be the pilot agreement for other collective bargaining rounds in Germany – is a positive political signal for work-life balance. It shows that we are exiting the crisis period and that workers are standing up for their rights for a fair share in the recovery. The agreement also shows that ‘flexibility’ in the workplace should be determined not only by employers, but also by the workers.
There are 3 main takeaways from the agreement, relating to Wages, Working Time and the so-called Tariff Wage Supplement.
• A wage increase of 4.3% effective from 1 April 2018 for all blue- and white-collar workers and apprentices.
• A one-off payment for the months January, February and March 2018 of €100 for all blue- and white-collar workers and €70 for all apprentices.
• A payment in 2019 of €400 for all blue- and white-collar workers and €200 for all apprentices. From 2020, this lump sum will be made permanent and will be tariff-dynamic (will increase with further wage increases).
• From 2019, a right for all full-time workers with 2+ years of seniority to reduce their weekly working hours to 28 hours for between 6 and 24 months. After this period is completed, workers have the right to repeat the process.
• The temporarily reduced (28 hour) working week will be limited to 10% of the workforce. If more than 10% of workers apply to have reduced working hours, priority will then be given to those engaged in shift work, caring for relatives, or with young children (up to 8 years of age).
• Employers will also have the opportunity to employ workers on 40-hour contracts (currently fixed at 18%/13% of all contracts depending on the collective bargaining region), but works councils will have more and stronger rights to object in the case of exceedance of an average of 35.9 hours weekly working time over all employees.
Tariff Wage Supplement or 8 Days Leave
• In July 2019, workers will receive a payment of 400 euros and annual tariff wage supplement of 27.5% of their monthly wage.
• From 2019, workers with children up to the age of 8 years or those who are caring for relatives or those in unhealthy working time models such shift work can alternatively convert the tariff wage supplement into 8 days leave. Two of these eight days are paid by the employer.
IndustriAll Europe welcomes the Collective Agreement signed between IG Metall and Südwestmetall on 6 February. The agreement is at the cutting edge of collective bargaining, setting a positive example for social partners not only in Germany but across all of Europe.