The head of the civil service association, Ulrich Silberbach, is threatening a “lockdown” through widespread strikes in the collective bargaining dispute between the federal and local governments. According to Silberbach, trams could stand still, daycare centers could be closed and rubbish left behind.

The German Association of Civil Servants (DBB) is threatening a “lockdown” through widespread strikes in the wage dispute in the public sector. DBB chairman Ulrich Silberbach told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Monday edition) that he was expecting a particularly tough argument, including area strikes, in the coming weeks. “Employers should know: This is no fun, just not the usual ritual.”

“Such a hard labor dispute threatens if the employers do not submit an offer after three rounds of negotiations,” announced Silberbach. “Then there is a threat of industrial action, i.e. a lockdown for the public service,” he emphasized. “Then trams stop, daycare centers close and the garbage stays where it is. Then it will be uncomfortable in this country.”

Silberbach called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to put his foot down on the financing of an appropriate degree. The states would also have to pass on more federal funds to the municipalities. The chief of civil servants also called on the federal, state and local governments to take more decisive action against the shortage of staff in the public sector. “We are threatened with state failure,” said Silberbach. The public service cannot meet the political requirements in view of the lack of staff and the “insufficient digitization”. Politics knows this.

However, it is argued that the necessary improvements for the public service would cost too much money. “But the money is there: In recent years, Germany has put more than 600 billion euros on the table in response to all the crises,” said the DBB chairman.

The first round of collective bargaining for around 2.4 million federal and local employees was adjourned in Potsdam on Tuesday without result after the employers had not submitted their own offer. The services union Verdi and the civil servants’ association are demanding 10.5 percent more salary for a period of twelve months because of the high inflation, but at least 500 euros a month. The second bargaining round will take place on February 22nd and 23rd in Potsdam.