Wage increase in the collective bargaining association of cleaners

November 17, 2023

The collective bargaining partners in the building cleaning trade have reached an early agreement on a tariff increase. The first increase already came on October 1 - the second rate increase will come at the beginning of 2024.

Nearly 700,000 employees currently work in building cleaning and there is a reason to rejoice, because their income will increase significantly from October 1. The IG Bau trade union has agreed to the wage compromise one day before the deadline for declarations on June 15, 2022. The employers had already clearly given their approval to the agreement on June 10. June 15 is also "Building Cleaning Day". The second increase stage is to take effect from January 1, 2024. This means that cleaning staff will continue to earn significantly more than the statutory minimum wage. Since their introduction in 2015, collectively agreed wages in the cleaning trade have always been significantly higher than the statutory minimum wage.

As an employer and umbrella organization, the Federal Guild Association of the Building Cleaning Trade represents the interests of its nearly 2,500 member companies, which, according to the association, account for around 85 percent of the market. The industry's income increase has met with widespread approval.

Smart cleaning app Soobr welcomes minimum wage agreement

We from the Smart Cleaning platform Soobr welcome the new wage agreement in the building cleaning trade - Germany's strongest employment craft industry. The wage increases symbolize on the one hand an expression of appreciation for the employees of the cleaning industry and on the other hand they make the building cleaning market more attractive for urgently needed junior and skilled workers.

Generally binding industry minimum wages

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has declared the two industry minimum wages (wage group 1 and wage group 6) to be generally binding by way of a legal ordinance in accordance with the Employee Posting Act. In this context, generally binding means that the two industry minimum wages apply nationwide and without exception to companies and commercial employees not covered by collective agreements.

The collective wage increase will be implemented in two stages. The minimum wage agreement states that two wage groups (wage group 1 and 6) are regulated as generally binding industry minimum wages. This means that the wages apply nationwide, without exception, to all companies and employees in commercial cleaning who are not covered by collective agreements.

- The entry-level wage (wage group 1) will increase from the current 11.55 euros to 13 euros on October 1, 2022. This represents an increase of12.55 percent. On January 1, 2024, it will then rise to 13.50 euros (plus3.85 percent). By far the largest number of employees work in wage group 1.

- In wage group 6, which applies to skilled workers as well as glass and facade cleaning, the industry minimum wage will rise from the current 14.81 euros to 16.20 euros. This is an increase of 9.39 percent. It will then rise to 16.70 euros (up 3.09 percent). Training allowances will increase to 900, 1,035 and 1,200 euros a month by the end of the term, depending on the apprenticeship year.

What does the tariff decision mean for building cleaners?

For the cleaners, the tariff agreement entails a great added value. The decision will certainly also bring about a recovery and an increase in the attractiveness of the cleaning market. At the same time, the cleaning service providers as employers are confronted with the price sensitivity of their customers and interested parties and see the tariff result as a challenge.

Some thoughts on the impact of the wage increase and possible solutions:

- Increased labor costs are impacting facility services in terms of mini-jobbers and workforce planning.

- Customers are becoming even more price-sensitive, which necessitates new concepts and efficiency improvements in building cleaning. How can costs be reduced and new potential exploited?

- Customers see the argument for the cleaning staff's wage increase, but are reluctant to use this point as a reason to enter into a new contract with the customer.

- The use of alternative resources could become more important (robotics, machines, sensors) to do cleaning jobs more efficiently and quickly.

- When it is necessary to calculate even more precisely, transparency towards the customer is important (clear compliance with SLAs and their screening via analytics and quality management are important factors).

- New regulation on mini-job - the minimum wage will increase to 12Euro from October 1. At the same time the monthly amount for marginal employment increases from 450 Euro to 520 Euro. Thus it is possible to schedule an employee10h/week: 120 Euro + 4,33 Euro = 520 Euro.

- A challenge in the future could be to find new mini-jobbers and thus it will be more difficult to staff a precinct at the start of a project, as a substitute or in spontaneous absence.

- A good solution is optimized planning and execution of cleaning and clear and crisis-proof personnel planning. Here, the digitalization of building cleaning by means of Smart Cleaning and Artificial Intelligence brings great advantages.

All want cleanliness

The appreciation of cleaning personnel through a tariff increase is of great importance, because everyone wants clean buildings such as schools, daycare centers, hospitals, office buildings, train stations and business premises, etc. This shows how important this strenuous work is - The Corona pandemic made this very clear. Cleaners were relevant to the system and performed a significant social task for hygiene safety. This is precisely why cleaning staff should earn more than the minimum wage of 12 euros. Another plus: The industry thus remains attractive for urgently sought-after skilled workers.

Clean more efficiently with the help of Smart Cleaning

Change always brings opportunities. In order to remain viable in the market, building cleaners and companies can achieve beneficial efficiency gains with the help of Smart Cleaning and dynamic and demand-oriented building cleaning. Often, only about 60% of office space is used. The Smart Cleaning app Soobr is a fitting response to the cleaning workers' wage increase.

By analyzing occupancy data from smart building solutions and motion sensors, the Soobr smart cleaning platform plans automated cleaning tours using artificial intelligence. Cleaning takes place where it is really needed. The result is dynamic tours that can be called up on mobile devices.

The Soobr complete solution eliminates paper-based and confusing cleaning tours as well as time-consuming personnel planning. In addition to an easy-to-use user interface, the Smart Cleaning app also offers the option of recording working hours and providing feedback in relation to repair work. The entire cleaning process can be evaluated in a clear and concise manner and thus becomes transparent to customers - this increases the quality of the cleaning work and promotes trust and cooperation.

Optimize costs and increase sustainability

The digitization of the cleaning industry also promotes sustainability in this industry. Demand-driven, digital cleaning is more sustainable and future-oriented than conventional, paper-based commercial cleaning and has a positive impact on a company's environmental footprint because water, chemicals and plastics are saved.

The cleaners benefit from an easy-to-use platform that they can use without language barriers . This enables them to perform efficient, clean, and customer-oriented cleaning services, and they feel valued thanks to modern end devices and clear recording of working hours. Building cleaners and companies can benefit from cost optimizations of up to 15% per year.

Digitization of the cleaning industry brings with it enormous potential for value creation, many potential savings, and social benefits for all involved.