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Trade unions warn of the state’s inability to act

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Trade unions warn of the state’s inability to act

Economy Due to a shortage of skilled workers

Trade unions warn of the state’s inability to act

Status: 13.08.2023 | Reading time: 2 minutes

Empty classroom: The teachers’ association and other unions predict difficult times

Source: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-ZB/Waltraud Grubitzsch

The shortage of skilled workers in the public sector is getting worse, by 2030 around 840,000 full-time employees are likely to be missing. Several unions are now sounding the alarm. They fear that the state will no longer be able to fulfill its tasks in certain areas.

In view of the growing shortage of skilled workers in the public sector, several trade unions have warned that the state is at risk of being unable to act. “The wave of retirements of the baby boomer generation is already noticeable,” said Florian Köbler, chairman of the German tax union, of the “Bild am Sonntag”. “It will get much worse from 2028.”

According to Köbler, one problem is “unattractive working conditions in ailing offices with moderate pay”. Standard market salaries are needed to increase the number of tax officials. “Without sufficient tax revenue, the state threatens to lose its ability to act,” he warned. According to the tax union, every second person in the tax offices will retire by 2035, and by 2030 there will be a shortage of 40,000 civil servants.

The chairman of the prison union, René Müller, also warned: “If the situation continues to deteriorate, we will no longer be able to do our state duties justice.” The head of the German police union, Rainer Wendt, said: “For many years, politicians watched how the number of staff was aging, and now people are surprised that tens of thousands of colleagues are going to retire.” According to the union, around 50,000 additional positions in the police force would have to be filled.

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Heinz-Peter Meidinger, Honorary President of the German Teachers’ Association, believes that it will take two decades for the situation in schools to ease. “I’m afraid that even if politicians take strong countermeasures, we still have the hardest time ahead of us,” he said. Around 40,000 positions in the schools cannot currently be filled.

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According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the management consultancy McKinsey estimates that the state will lack a total of around 840,000 full-time employees by 2030. Just a few days ago, the head of the civil servants’ association DBB had warned of the consequences of an impending staff shortage in the public sector. Although there is no threat of state standstill, “there will be a lot more, more frequent and louder rumbling than now,” Ulrich Silberbach told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

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