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Article The fed­er­al pub­lic ser­vice

Since the first phase of federalism reform was completed in September 2006, the federal public service has employed approximately 133,720 civil servants and approximately 124,485 other employees, plus approximately 166,005 military personnel.

Since the first phase of federalism reform was completed in September 2006, the federal public service has employed approximately 133,720 civil servants and approximately 124,485 other employees, plus approximately 166,005 military personnel.

All Germans are eligible for every public service position if they have the necessary skills and qualifications and can perform the necessary tasks. This is guaranteed by Article 33 (2) of the Basic Law.

Citizens of any European Union member state have the same eligibility as Germans, if the position is not reserved for a German national.

To ensure that staff are qualified to deal with the wide variety of public administration tasks, the public service offers systematic preliminary and in-service training for the different service classes. For federal civil servants, there are four service classes, each requiring a different educational degree: ordinary service – school-leaving certificate or equivalent (Hauptschulabschluss); intermediate service – school-leaving certificate and successful completion of appropriate vocational training or the equivalent; higher intermediate service – university entrance qualification (Abitur) or equivalent; higher service – appropriate university degree for the relevant career path.

There is no equivalent system of service classes for public employees, although the salary structures are somewhat similar: They are also based on educational degrees, and the necessary qualification has to be obtained prior to recruitment either during in-house apprenticeships or at technical colleges or universities.

The difference between civil servants and public employees

The German public service employs two types of staff: civil servants and public employees. Civil servants are recruited to a particular career, public employees to a specific function.

According to the Constitution, the exercise of state authority as a permanent function must as a rule be entrusted to civil servants (see Article 33(4) of the Basic Law). Their rights and duties as well as their remuneration and pensions are regulated by law. The remuneration and other working conditions of public employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements between the trade unions and the public employers. Unlike public employees, civil servants are not allowed to go on strike.

Since the Federal Government has no authority to legislate the remuneration of civil servants in the federal states (Länder) and municipalities, there is no uniform system of remuneration for civil servants working at federal, state and local level in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Click here to learn more about the public service in germany or visit www.wir-sind-bund.de.

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