The planned and partially implemented reforms in the social policy arena, and in school and university education, drew sharp criticism, especially from the teachers’ union [Gewerkschaft Bildung und Wissenschaft or GEW]. Public school teachers and non-tenured university faculty feared drastic belt-tightening measures in all of Germany’s federal states. They also feared that there would be fewer new hires, scaled-back benefits, fewer tenure-track positions, and higher retirement ages.
This photograph shows members of the teachers’ union and other trade unions protesting on Castle Bridge in Schwerin on March 23, 2006. The approximately 1,500 civil servants who took part in this demonstration demanded that collective wage agreements remain binding for civil service personnel in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Photo: Jens Büttner.