The demands are getting louder and more urgent.

The representatives of the Hessian officials and also the opposition are warning the state government to finally increase the constitutional salary of the state servants.

But that would cost the budget several billion euros, of which nobody knows where they are supposed to come from.

During the most recent session of the state parliament, Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) asked for patience and pointed out that a ruling from the Federal Constitutional Court had to be awaited.

This earned him the accusation of playing for time.

The background to the dispute is a judgment by the Hessian Administrative Court of November 30, 2021, in which the judges had determined that the constitutional principles of the distance requirement in civil servant salaries had not been observed since 2013.

The bid says that there must be a certain distance between the payment of civil servants in the lowest salary brackets and the basic state security.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, this distance has narrowed considerably in recent years because additional social benefits for the unemployed have to be taken into account, which is why the Federal Constitutional Court ordered the criteria for the distance requirement to be significantly tightened.

"At least the first decisive implementations are possible and necessary"

It is complicated, but according to the ministry it is of considerable importance, because if the gap in the lowest salary bracket to basic security is not maintained, this will have a kind of domino effect on all other salary brackets, which should also be better paid.

For Beuth, the problem is clear.

“Hessen faces the same problem with salaries as all other federal states.

However, only the Federal Constitutional Court can ensure legal certainty,” he said on request.

“The cheap proposals from the opposition misjudge the complexity of the matter.

Anyone who has paid attention in math knows that you cannot arrive at a correct result without a solution.” According to Beuth, however, the state government cannot solve the equation without the Karlsruhe judges.

However, the minister promised

The constitutionally correct payment of civil servants would therefore only be possible after a ruling by the constitutional judges, and that takes too long, especially for civil servant representatives.

"The statements by the Minister of the Interior and the government factions in the state parliament irritate and snub the Hessian civil servants again," complained the Hessian state chairman of the German Civil Servants' Association, Heini Schmitt.

The civil servants' association calculated for the state government how a 100 percent solution could be produced and what it would cost.

"At least the first decisive implementations are also constitutionally possible and necessary if you want to proceed in several stages in view of the magnitude," said Schmitt.

He specified that the uniform increase in basic salaries in several stages across all salary groups could be launched immediately in accordance with the constitution.

This is not objected to by the Constitutional Court.

"If the Minister of the Interior and the government factions suggest something like that, it can only be interpreted as a game for time," concluded Schmitt.

"The black-green government should not try to somehow save itself over the finish line in the state elections without having effectively tackled the iron salary."

The police union also accused Beuth of "playing for time" and said that the constitutional judges would probably not make a judgment for two to three years at the earliest.

Beuth must finally act, the salary of Hessian police officers is in extreme cases nine percent below the basic security.

"Especially civil servants in the lower pay grades have real problems financing their lives," writes the union.

As a first step, she called for a salary increase of 3.4 percent.

"Expression of lack of appreciation" towards the officials

The state parliamentary group of the Hessian SPD supports the demands of the official representatives.

"The deliberate delaying of a new regulation with reference to the pending decision of the Federal Constitutional Court is outrageous," criticized Heike Hofmann, spokeswoman for domestic policy for the Social Democrats.

Although the decision of the administrative court was not surprising, the state government did not make any provisions in the budget to be able to pay the civil servants better.

The AfD parliamentary group rated the unconstitutional salary as an "expression of lack of appreciation" for the civil servants.

Domestic policy spokesman Dirk Gaw said it was unreasonable for them to wait another year for an additional payment.

The FDP also warned Beuth against delaying the topic.

"It would be completely unacceptable if the state government tried to shift responsibility for the necessary salary adjustments to the next legislative period," said Stefan Müller, spokesman for domestic affairs for the FDP parliamentary group.

For him it is clear: "The decision of the administrative court is the receipt for the state government, which tried to save on the backs of the officials."

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