Bonn. The warning strikes at university hospitals in NRW, including Bonn, began early this morning. There will also be strikes at schools. Demonstrations are also planned at the university hospital and in the city centre.
Employees at several university hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia went on an all-day warning strike on Tuesday in a public service wage dispute. A spokesperson for the Verdi union said this morning that employees at hospitals in Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Essen stopped work at the start of the early shift. “We expect around 200 colleagues at each of the hospitals in Cologne and Bonn to take part today,” said Volker Wenner of the Verdi union this morning.
The strike at Bonn University Hospital will affect the daytime and late shifts as well as the early shift. “We have reached an emergency service agreement with the management board,” says trade union secretary Arno Appelhoff. Vital operations will be carried out as normal and emergencies still treated.
After an opening rally at nine o’clock, those participating in the strike want to demonstrate at the university hospital until noon. “We agree with staff representatives and the trade unions that adequate increases in salaries must be agreed and hope that these wage negotiations will soon come to a good conclusion,” says Wolfgang Holzgreve, medical director and chairman of the board at the Bonn University Hospital.
Demonstration at Münsterplatz
The Bonn branch of the Union for Education and Science (GEW) is also urging its wage tariff employees to strike all day. The GEW in Bonn, which is also responsible for the Rhine-Sieg district and Euskirchen, expects around 150 participants in its strike actions, which will start with a meeting at the DGB House on Endenicher Straße. From 11am, a demonstration march to the Münsterplatz is planned, where a rally is to start at 11.30am. Police have said that short-term traffic disruptions are to be expected because of the demonstration.
The effects of the strike on schools will probably be limited as only around 20 per cent of teaching staff are employed under collective bargaining agreements, according to figures from the Cologne district government.
In both cases, the background is the unsuccessful second round of negotiations for public service employees in the federal states.
(Original text: Matthias Kirch (with material from the DPA) / Translation: kc)