Basis for participation
In Germany, the German Works Council Constitution Act (BetrVG) ensures that staff can take part in decision-making processes. In such matters, they are represented by the local staff council or, for issues affecting the company as a whole, by the Central Staff Council. Field staff are represented by the Field Staff Representation, a committee of the Central Staff Council.
To encourage exchange between the various official bodies and GIZ and to foster a climate of constructive cooperation, various forms of dialogue exist at GIZ. These range from monthly meetings with the local staff councils to annual joint meetings. GIZ thus also meets the legal requirements of the German Works Council Constitution Act.
National personnel also elect representatives from their members at national level, while still conforming to the same rules that apply in Germany. The elected representatives can be consulted in the event of conflicts within the company. They build a bridge between the workforce and country directors by collecting and passing on staff opinions and proposals. There is also a special help desk in Germany that provides support and can be contacted by national colleagues.
Co-determination in action through regular dialogue
Regular staff meetings ensure that co-determination is put into practice at GIZ. A range of other dialogue formats and opportunities also exist to encourage staff participation: these range from live video chats with the Management Board to open space events. Other important communication channels include the staff magazine wir:, various internal newsletters and the intranet. In addition, employees have an opportunity to voice their opinions in staff surveys: these are conducted twice a year on a variety of internal topics and are aimed at all staff as well as development workers on the ground.
Key changes affecting staff are coordinated by GIZ and the responsible staff councils. This is done in line with the German Works Council Constitution Act and always with sufficient advance notice.
We take co-determination seriously at GIZ, and this is reflected in our collective bargaining process. GIZ’s collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with the Unified Service Sector Union (ver.di). It includes a general Collective Bargaining Agreement, a Collective Agreement on Remuneration and collective bargaining agreements on pensions. It also defines standards and regulates fundamental aspects of employment that have been approved by, and are mandatory for, all collective bargaining parties.