The Education and Science Union (GEW) has described the increase in wages for employees in the federal public service as an “appropriate conclusion” to collective bargaining after three days of negotiations with employers. Corporate committees may also negotiate areas covered by collective agreements in which the contract itself contains a so-called opening clause, which expressly allows the Works Council to negotiate the subject. A minimum wage commission, made up of representatives of trade unions and employers, which advises external experts, makes proposals for an increase in the rate taking into account the increase in collectively negotiated rates of pay. These proposals are submitted to the government that makes the final decision. In Germany, there are no national inter-professional agreements. Workers` representatives are able to negotiate collective agreements that are directly considered a legal standard. As has already been said, Germany has two types of collective agreements: “collective agreements” and “enterprise agreements”. “Collective agreements” organize content, training, the end of the employment contract, standards of governance and internal organization. As far as individual working conditions are concerned, these are individual working conditions. Collective agreements are signed by unions and an employer (or employers` organisation).
The enterprise agreements are signed by the works council and the employer. A separate study by the Federal Statistical Office used the results of the 2014 Wage Survey to calculate the extent to which workers are bound by collective agreements. It yielded similar results to the IAB figures, although generally lower. It found that in 2014, 46% of employees and 15% of jobs were bound by collective agreements. As with the IAB figures, they show that sectoral agreements, which cover 41% of the workforce and 13% of jobs, are by far the most covered.  The traditional mechanism of the general nature of collective agreements is subject to a number of conditions. This implies that the agreement to be renewed should cover at least 50% of employees in the sector and that both employers and trade unions should ask for its extension beyond what is directly covered. As coverage of negotiations declines (see below), this mechanism is less widespread. During the summer of 2019, the Ministry of Labour`s (BMAS) website reported that at that time, only 443 (0.6%) Of the approximately 73,000 registered collective agreements, which cover a wide range of non-remuneration issues, were currently generally mandatory and the list of generally binding agreements was revised. However, since the late 1990s, legislation has been put in place, which provides another way to establish universal minimum rates for certain industrial sectors. One reason was the treatment of low wages, often paid by non-German companies that employ their own nationals in Germany (detached workers).
This Worker Detachment Act gives the Minister of Labour the power to extend collective agreements that do not cover 50% of employees in a sector, and to set minimum rates in sectors where there are no collective agreements when a specially created commission deems it appropriate. Nine branches, including construction, mail distribution, cleaning, garbage collection, meat safety and processing, have set minimum rates on the basis of collective agreements. In the area of social assistance, they are defined by the ministry on the basis of the recommendations of a commission. The government also sets minimum rates for temporary workers who use other laws. (This is in addition to the national minimum wage that was introduced in January 2015 – see below.) Trade unions have also made progress in collective bargaining: workers in the social and educational service of the federal states would work from 1 January 2020 with the same wage conditions as their federal and local counterparts.