Pensions threat drives staff to quit

1st October 1999 at 01:00

A MASSIVE wave of early retirement is exacerbating a severe shortage of teachers in Berlin, causing havoc in a city which has seen an influx of children from the former capital Bonn.

Many pupils returned to school in September facing huge gaps in the timetable as a result of the authorities giving unprecedented numbers of teachers early retirement without providing new staff.

The average age of a German teacher is now 49, compared to 36 in 1970, and the rate at which they are taking early retirement has doubled in the past decade.

In some districts of Berlin only 10 per cent of those retiring had reached statutory pension age.

Large numbers of teachers apply to retire on medical grounds, but the authorities also say that the exodus is related to a 10 per cent cut in pensions which will come into force in January 2001. This reduction had previously been scheduled for January 2000, causing panic this year.

Berlin, with 30,000 teaching posts, has lost 3,000 to retirement in the past three years with almost 500 going since July. The authorities expect to retire 80 teachers each month until next September.

The teachers' union defended their members' right to opt for early retirement on medical grounds, but admitted that the sudden exodus was causing chaos.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now