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Germany: Trade Unions Warn of Public-Sector Staff Shortages

Some 1.3 million civil servants are due to retire by 2030. Unions say the government will need to hike pay and improve working conditions to recruit new workers.

Two German trade unions warned Sunday of looming staff shortages in the public sector, which they said could cause massive problems for the running of the country.

Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported that there are currently around 360,000 public sector vacancies in Germany.

It cited data from the consultancy McKinsey that by 2030, the state currently faces a shortage of around 840,000 full-time employees.

Around 1.3 million public sector staff are set to retire within the next seven years, according to the civil servants association dbb.

“The retirement wave of the baby boomer generation is already noticeable now. It will intensify massively from 2028 onwards,” Florian Köbler, chairman of the Geman Tax Union, told the newspaper.

Union boss urges improved working conditions

Köbler added that issues including: “unattractive working conditions in dilapidated offices with mediocre pay” would hamper the recruitment of replacements and potentially slow down tax collection.

“Without sufficient tax revenues, the state risks losing its ability to act.”

The German Tax Union chief previously called for employees to be exempted from submitting tax returns by increasing the tax-free allowance.

Other unions also warn of labor crunch

Köbler’s remarks were backed up by René Müller, head of the Prison Officers’ Union.

“If the situation deteriorates further, we will no longer be able to fulfill our state duties,” Müller told Bild am Sonntag.

According to the DPolG police union, around 50,000 additional positions need to be urgently filled within law enforcement agencies.

A few days ago, the head of the dbb also warned of the consequences of imminent staff shortages.

While the state would continue to run, “there will be a lot more rumbling, more often and louder than now,” Ulrich Silberbach told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group.

“If we don’t finally make progress on digitization and reducing bureaucracy, the impending shortage of staff will lengthen processing times, worsen support ratios and significantly weaken the state’s overall performance,” he said.

According to estimates by the dbb, there are currently around 360,000 vacancies in the public service.

Source : DW

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