New 2014 Collective Agreement for the German Chemical Industry reached
On Wednesday, 5th February 2014 the social partners in the German Chemical Industry, the German Federation of Chemical Employers’ Associations (BAVC) and the IG BCE trade union, concluded a new collective agreement for the 1,900 companies employing 550,000 employees of the sector in Germany. The agreement is, as usual, legally binding for member companies of the regional chemical industry employers’ federations and trade union members in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, large parts of the plastics and rubber industries as well as many service companies working for those sectors.
Increase of wages and salaries by 3.7%
The existing minimum wages and salaries for the 13 job levels – as defined by the collective agreements for the sector – will be raised by 3.7%. The new collective agreement runs from 1st January 2014 (in some regions, in accordance with the duration of the previous agreement from 1st February 2014 or 1st March 2014) and has a minimum durationof14 months (so again depending on the region it will terminate on 28th February 2015, 31st
March or 30th April 2015). For the first month of the new agreement the existing (old) wages and salaries remain in force without any increase. Starting with the second month the (new) increased minimum wages and salaries are valid.
In companies having difficult economic situations the management can agree with the local works council (elected representation of company employees) to postpone the starting date of the increase by one month. Companies in severe difficulties (e.g. showing a financial loss for 2013) may postpone the starting date of the increase by two month without the need to agree with the works council. The total duration of the agreement will not be affected by postponing the starting date for the increases. In addition to these special measures companies in economic difficult situations can always negotiate with their works council for the full range of flexibility clauses incorporated in the collective agreements of the German chemical industry.
New commitment and recommendations for apprentices
BAVC and IG BCE agreed as well to continue and further strengthen their joint activities for vocational education and apprentices in the sector. The employers of the sector committed themselves in the new agreement to offer annually at least 9,200 new posts for apprentices in the sector in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (the old agreement guaranteed a minimum of 9,000 posts annually). Furthermore, the social partners agreed on a recommendation to companies to offer those young people, who have finished their apprenticeship in the company successfully and who will be offered an employment contract afterwards, whenever possible indefinite contracts. Temporary contracts should only be used if personal or operative reasons for such limitations exist. However, contrary to the strong demand by the IG BCE trade union during the negotiations (and contrary to the regulations in a number of other German industrial sectors), the determination how many and which apprentices are offered employment contracts after the end of their apprenticeships will continue to be a free and unilateral decision by the management.
(Summary courtesy of <link http: www.bavc.de _blank>BAVC)