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More flexible working hours – without wage compensation

Deutsche Bahn has submitted a new offer in the tariff dispute with the GDL. It provides for the expansion of the existing flexible working time model. After that, a 35-hour week would be possible with reduced wages.

In the collective bargaining dispute with the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL), Deutsche Bahn has submitted a new offer. It provides for an expansion of the existing flexible working time model. After that, railway employees can work less, but also more – although wages and salaries will be adjusted accordingly.

“We now want to negotiate additional election models for shift workers,” said Bahn human resources director Martin Seiler to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. “They can then only work 35 hours instead of 38 – or even 40 hours. Everyone chooses, like in a cafeteria.”

Anyone who opts for shorter working hours will, however, have to make compromises in terms of a collectively agreed wage increase. “That’s already the case today when employees decide to take additional vacation,” said Seiler.

So far no reaction from the GDL

The railway announced today that the GDL has already received the new offer. According to its own statements, the group is now ready for the first time to talk about a core demand of the GDL, on which the negotiations had recently failed.

However, a sticking point is apparently still not up for debate. In the collective bargaining dispute, the GDL is arguing for a reduction in weekly working hours for employees in shift work from the current 38 to 35 hours – with full wage compensation.

Because the railway has not yet wanted to negotiate about it, the talks have stalled, and from next Monday there is a risk of day-long strikes by train drivers nationwide. It is questionable whether the current offer is sufficient to avert a strike. There is no reaction from the GDL yet.

The railway board no longer sees any reason for strikes

In the future, Deutsche Bahn will offer employees in companies with a GDL collective agreement the opportunity to use an app with which they can choose whether they want to work in the morning or evening, on the weekend or just during the week. “This means that in 80 percent of cases they get the shifts they want,” says Seiler to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

“With our offer, we are taking a big step towards the GDL. It has to move now too. And: The GDL has to forego unnecessary strikes. There is really no reason for that anymore,” continued Seiler.

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