An Augsburg civil servant is demanding a payment of 220,000 euros for a total of 4,933 hours of overtime within his last 30 years in the job. The city is now investigating the case. However, the fuss surrounding the claim is great.

Prices are skyrocketing, millions of people have to save. In the midst of the big surge in prices in Germany, a case in Bavaria is now causing a stir: The head of the Augsburg building department, Gerd Merkle, has been a civil servant in the Bavarian city for more than 30 years and is now demanding payment of 220,000 euros for his 4933 hours of overtime. He is referring to his employer’s service agreement from 2004, according to which city employees should be able to accumulate overtime on long-term accounts in order to retire earlier.

But instead, the 63-year-old now wants 220,000 euros. The agreement was signed in 2004 by the then Mayor Paul Wengert (SPD). He now describes Merkle’s demand as “absurd”. “With me he would certainly not get paid. He would have to sue in court,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”.

In 2008, Merkle went from being an employee in the city planning office to becoming the city’s construction officer and gave up his employment. He should therefore have claimed the overtime for the period from 2004 to 2008, says Wengert. “I can understand that in the public discussion the payment of overtime for a speaker, and especially with reference to the years 1994 to 2008, seems strange,” commented the incumbent Mayor Eva Weber (CSU) on the demand of the CSU politician and election worker Merkle The government of Swabia would already examine the case before it was announced after a non-public meeting of the staff committee.

Merkle, who was repeatedly referred to as a “workhorse” by colleagues, has so far not commented on the newspaper’s request. The Augsburg FDP is also demanding a judicial clarification of the case. “This age-old overtime sounds completely unbelievable to me,” agrees Rolf Baron von Hohenhau, President of the Bavarian Taxpayers’ Association.