Agreement in Construction Collective Bargaining – Higher Income and Premium


Around 890,000 construction workers can count on more wages.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The around 890,000 employees in the German construction industry will get more money in the future. For the months of July to October 2021, you will receive a corona bonus of 500 euros in the west and 220 euros in the east, such as the industrial union Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG BAU) and the main association of the German construction industry and the central association of the German construction industry early on Friday morning informed.

The tariff package also provides for wage increases for employees in three steps. The collective bargaining partners in the construction industry agreed on this after five rounds of negotiations and two rounds of arbitration, mediated by the President of the Federal Social Court, Rainer Schlegel. The previous collective agreement expired in June.

According to the collective bargaining agreement, incomes will be increased by two percent in the west and three percent in the east on November 1, 2021. On April 1, 2022 there will be a further increase of 2.2 percent (east: 2.8 percent) and on April 1, 2023 by a further two percent (east: 2.7 percent).

In addition, employees in the west will receive one-off payments of 400 euros as of April 1, 2022 and 450 euros as of April 1, 2023. In addition, a gradual increase in training allowances was agreed. The collective agreement has a term of 33 months until the end of March 2024.

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The union started negotiations, which had already started in May, with the demand for 5.3 percent more money for a year and an east-west alignment of wages and salaries. As both sides announced, it is now stipulated in the collective agreement that a 100 percent equalization of western and eastern incomes as well as training allowances must be achieved in 2026. However, every company in the eastern collective bargaining area can also determine an east-west alignment earlier for its employees by means of an in-house collective bargaining agreement.

There is financial compensation for the trip to the construction site

In addition, the IG BAU demanded financial compensation for the journeys made by the employees. According to the union, construction workers travel more than 60 kilometers to their construction site across Germany. The travel times were the main point of contention in the negotiations. The collective bargaining round was on the verge of failure on several occasions; if the arbitration failed, IG BAU threatened the first land strike in the construction industry since 2002.

On this point, the employee side ultimately prevailed. According to the union, there will be six euros for up to 50 kilometers from January 1, 2023, and seven euros a year later. For 51 to 75 kilometers there are eight euros, in 2024 then nine euros. If you travel more than 75 kilometers, you get eleven or nine euros a day. Compensation has also been agreed for employees who do not drive home from their place of work every day.

For a long time, employers had blocked their travel time allowance and emphasized that this could not be part of the collective wage agreements. The agreed regulations will therefore be included in the federal framework collective agreement and provided with a special right of termination – at the earliest at the beginning of 2026.

The Federal Tariff Commission of IG BAU has to make a final decision in the next few days on the acceptance of the negotiated paper. The committees of the employers’ associations must also deal with this accordingly.

The IG-BAU chairman Robert Feiger said: “Our ideas for fairer wages for the employees were definitely higher, but we can live with this compromise.” With the help of the arbitrator, “a strike at the last minute” was initially averted.

Now the way is clear for the immense tasks that are due: Around 400,000 apartments have to be built in Germany every year, the order books of the construction companies are full.

The construction industry suffers from a shortage of materials and skilled workers

The employer’s negotiator and Vice President of the Central Association of the German Construction Industry, Uwe Nostitz, said: “We had lengthy and difficult negotiations with a complex and, in some cases, new subject.”

Construction Industry Vice President Jutta Beeke added: “We have succeeded in negotiating a comprehensive package and achieving a result that can ensure planning security in the company over a long period of time.”

The construction industry is currently experiencing a boom that was hardly clouded by the corona pandemic, but is currently being weakened somewhat by the scarcity of materials. According to the Federal Statistical Office, sales in the construction industry in July were 4.9 percent below the level of the same month last year. From January to July, however, the bottom line was a slight minus of one percent.

The number of employees increased by 1.7 percent in the first seven months compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Many construction companies complain of a lack of staff. According to a survey by the Ifo Institute, every third building construction company had problems finding skilled workers in September. In civil engineering, as many as 38 percent complained about a lack of suitable applicants.

More: The IG Metall boss considers the climate transformation of the industry to be difficult. In the interview he talks about Germany’s bad cards in the competition for locations.

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