First collective agreement signed for retail call centres

In November 2001, Germany's first ever collective agreement for employees in call centres related to the retail sector was signed in the Hamburg region. The deal sets out a new pay grading system for call centre employees.

On 13 November 2001, the Hamburg regional organisation of the Unified Service Sector Union (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, ver.di) and the Employers' Association for the Hamburg Retail Sector (Landesverband des Hamburger Einzelhandels, LHE) concluded a new collective agreement for employees in call centres related to the retail sector. The agreement covers all call centres which form part of LHE member companies, while external call centres also have the option of applying the agreement. The deal is the first collective agreement ever signed in retail call centres.

The core of the agreement is a new pay grade system for call centre employees, made up of five grades determined on the basis of detailed job descriptions. Call centre employees can earn basic monthly pay of between EUR 1,317 and EUR 2,571 in the first year of service - see the table below. Given seniority increments within the pay grade system, basic monthly pay can rise over time to EUR 1,475 in the lowest pay grade and EUR 3,491 in the highest grade.

Basic monthly pay in Hamburg retail call centres from 1 January 2002 (in EUR)
Pay grade 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year and beyond
C 1 1,317 1,389 1,475 1,475
C 2 1,514 1,648 1,731 1,731
C 3 1,623 1,714 1,773 1,906 (4th year), 2,037 (5th year), 2,179 (beyond 5th year)
C 4 2,283 2,283 2,475 2,475 (4th and 5th year), 2,700
C 5 2,571 2,571 2,912 2,912 (4th and 5th year), 3,491 (beyond 5th year)

In future, call centre employees will receive the same pay increases as their colleagues in other parts of the retail sector, as determined in the normal collective bargaining round (DE0107232N). Regarding other issues such as holidays, bonus payments and pension schemes, call centre employees will be covered by the provisions of the collective framework agreements (Manteltarifverträge) for the retail sector.

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