Education International
Education International

Germany: researchers support decent wages in education

published 27 August 2015 updated 8 September 2015

The considerable strains of social and educational professions must be appropriately appreciated, leading to better remuneration for educators, the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft explained following a researchers’ appeal to politics and society.

More than 1.4 million people in Germany are professionally active working in the social, education and training fields. In the sector of child and youth welfare and care, 700 thousand of these professionals help children, youth and their families have a decent life. Over 400 thousand educators work in the field of early childhood education.

Researchers sent a nationwide message of solidarity with them on 19 August relayed on the website of the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft, an Education International’s affiliate.

They highlight that social tasks are increasingly being transferred to the predominantly female workforce in the social, education and training systems. At the same time, these workers are confronted with growing demands regarding their skills and the quality of their activities. The political and social attention on educators, social workers and trainers’ duties is in sharp contrast to the financial remuneration and social recognition of their professional obligations, researchers dealing with education, training, help and care issues explain.

They therefore strongly support the demands of these employees to see their professional activities being better acknowledged. They also note that, as social, education and training workers ensure the quality of life and the sustainability of our society, they rightfully expect a financial reward mirroring the services they provide.

The financial effort needed to meet such a necessary financial reappraisal of the social, education and training professionals cannot rest on the shoulders of the municipal employers alone, researchers say. They go on to stress that competent authorities, in the regions (Länder) and particularly at the federal level, are encouraged making a substantial financial contribution to help make the overdue recognition of social, education and training professions a reality.

Researchers also say that the employees’ remuneration must meet their social importance, impact and productivity. Empirical studies, they insist, show that through a fair remuneration, workers in social, education and training professions could finally get what society owes them: recognition.