Wage framework agreement

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The remuneration framework agreement ( ERA ) is an agreement between the trade union IG Metall and the employers' association Gesamtmetall . The aim is to eliminate the historically grown separation between blue-collar and white-collar workers , to standardize their pay and thus to achieve greater pay equity between the groups. As a consequence, traditional vocabulary is given up and replaced by others. The terms worker and employee are replaced by the term employee . Instead of wages and salaries , the generic term remuneration is used.

The first collective agreement on ERA ( ERA-TV ) was reached on June 23, 2003 in Baden-Württemberg between IG Metall Baden-Württemberg and the employers' association Südwestmetall . ERA-TV is designed specifically in each tariff area (a total of 11 different ERA tariff areas in Germany).


The new framework agreement on remuneration directly affects more than 1.8 million employees in the electrical and metal industry in 3,419 companies covered by collective bargaining agreements (as of the end of 2017). The total volume of wages and salaries is around 144 billion euros over the conversion phase. This does not take into account the companies that apply the tariff without being bound by the tariff. In view of these figures, the ERA is indicative. At the same time, the legislature has also separated from the terms worker and salaried employee, among other things, and merged the previously independent pension insurance schemes for salaried employees and blue-collar workers in the federal pension scheme .

The objectives of ERA-TV in detail

When implementing ERA-TV, the collective bargaining parties sometimes strive for different goals. The advantages for employees are:

  • A uniform, contemporary remuneration system for workers and employees: The aim is a uniform, comparable, modern work tasks comprehensive job evaluation and an evaluation of stresses across all employee groups.
  • A higher degree of pay equity: Growing pay injustices should be overcome in a transition process - in the case of significantly different situations between the companies.
  • Preservation of the individual vested rights while at the same time maintaining operational cost neutrality: In a transition process, both a company remuneration sum and the individual vested interests are secured. If the workforce is involved , their acceptance of the ERA process can be ensured.
  • Strong individual and common rights: Through institutional safeguards with the help of transparent and well-founded job evaluations, employees, company interest groups and IG Metall should help to decide on job evaluations.
  • Labor policy for good work : A starting point can be found for qualification and labor policy.
  • Anchoring the performance remuneration components: A performance-related remuneration is possible.

The following goals can be observed on the entrepreneurial side:

  • "Lower excessive classifications to an appropriate level (ERA as an opportunity)"
  • “Hire newcomers with lower incomes”: In the first step, an ERA changeover cannot reduce wage costs, but wage costs can be significantly reduced for new hires.
  • “Service tariffs for administrative and service areas also within industrial company structures”: Team assistants in particular are being downgraded considerably. For this, their superiors are taken out of hand with the creation of job descriptions so that the HR department can describe jobs in such a way that clear downgrades are possible.
  • Appreciation of qualified skilled work with a view to technological change (automation, digitization), commercial-technical professions should be made more attractive.
  • Savings on promotions: In some companies, promotions were blocked before ERA and only later implemented with ERA as a high grouping. The companies can save wage costs because the higher income of the high group must be achieved gradually and not immediately, as with a regular high group.
  • Assignment of tasks to the top ERA income group, which are more likely to be in the non-tariff area.

Structure of the pay structure

ERA-TV offers a uniform pay structure for employees. The elements of the pay structure in the framework pay agreement are:

  • Basic remuneration resulting from the requirements for performing the work task,
  • Performance remuneration that reflects personal performance in the context of the work task (as a percentage surcharge on the basic remuneration), as well as the
  • Debit fee or allowance (only in some tariff areas), which results from the debit situation .

These pay components are directly influenced by ERA-TV. They result in the personal gross remuneration together with the remuneration components not influenced by ERA-TV, such as supplements for night and holiday work, a remuneration dependent on the operating result or other non-tariff allowances.

The remuneration framework for the basic pay is divided into a different number of levels depending on the federal state, for example Bavaria has 12 levels and Baden-Württemberg 17. The level in which the employees of the companies will be classified in the future is determined by an evaluation of the work task. The point evaluation schemes are negotiated separately in the individual tariff areas :

  • Knowledge and ability:
    • Time of instruction or systematic learning as well as practice with simple activities
    • Necessary professional training and years of professional experience in higher-quality jobs
  • Thinking: To what extent does the job holder have to think along; apply, combine or develop given solution patterns; develop new solution patterns
  • Scope of action / responsibility: work is carried out on instruction; Work is carried out on the basis of general instructions; Work is carried out according to general goals with room for maneuver for a comprehensive range of tasks.
  • Communication: Communication is limited to receiving instructions and reporting the job as finished; complex negotiations with different objectives.
  • Leadership: Giving instructions under constant framework conditions; Convince employees to want to work in a target-oriented manner within the framework of general company principles under frequently changing framework conditions.

Because of this scheme can be much more accurately differentiate how valuable a service provided by an employee performance is.

A different tier system is also used in some tariff zones. In Lower Saxony there are z. B. only 13 pay groups. ERA in Lower Saxony always evaluates the overall level of an activity and secures the earlier remuneration in a collective agreement. A downgrading of those already employed does not take place here and is also not intended. The above points are not dealt with any further in Lower Saxony.

There are a total of 11 different ERA systems or ERA collective agreements in the 21 collective bargaining regions of the metal and electrical industry in Germany. Of these, 2 regions work with the analytical evaluation method (e.g. Baden-Württemberg) and 9 regions with the summary job evaluation.

The ERA-TV process

The social partners have first launched with the conclusion of the collective agreement an operational transition process. Here the re-evaluation of the work tasks and stresses should take place. Thereafter, ERA-TV applies to the assessment process as a result of changing work tasks and situations.

Different operational tasks result in this process:

  • Planning the transition process
  • Evaluation of work tasks by the employer
    • Review of the assessment by the works council
    • Clarification of conflicts first in a joint commission and then possibly before an arbitration board.
  • Assessment of the loads and
  • possibly design of performance fee systems.

In companies in which a reassessment of the task descriptions is carried out during the implementation of ERA, in addition to clearly objective decision-making criteria, the balance of power between employees and employers determine how ERA is implemented. Naturally, this always applies where there is room for interpretation and consequently the power of interpretation determines which interpretations can be enforced. Correspondingly, the implementation of ERA in companies with a high degree of organization of the employees will differ from companies in which employees are less willing to defend themselves against too low classifications. One result of the ERA process is that employees who have been downgraded are defending themselves against downgrades through “service according to the rules”, especially in the area of ​​team assistance.

In order to avoid the problem of reducing the wages of downgraded employees, it was agreed that their wages would increase more slowly than that of others in the future in the event of wage increases . The same happens with employees who have received too little up to now. Their remuneration is increased above average in the event of tariff increases.

In order for the companies to have the necessary financial resources (so-called ERA component) at their disposal, it was calculated that employees would have to forego 2.79% wage increases. This happened proportionally in 2002 and 2003, so that 1.4% of the ERA component was already paid. With the conclusion in 2004, the remaining 1.39% was agreed so that the ERA collective agreement could be introduced in the companies on March 1, 2005.

The collective agreement of ERA-TV

The collective bargaining agreement consists of different documents depending on the collective bargaining area, usually at least:

  • General remuneration collective agreement (ERA-TV)
  • Collective agreement on wages and training allowances
  • Introductory collective agreement for ERA-TV (ETV ERA)
  • ERA-TV adaptation fund collective agreement
  • Collective agreement for the continuation of the provisions of LRTV II in North Württemberg / North Baden.

ERA tariffs of IG Metall at 35h week in a national comparison

Tariff area groups Basic fee of (% of the basic fee) to (% of the basic fee) Performance bonuses from basic pay (company average) Burden allowances from the basic wage Remarks
17th € 3,046 € 2,254 (74.0%) € 5,680.50 (186.5%) 0% to 30% (15%) 0% to 12.5% ​​of the basic salary group
Bavaria 12 € 2,947 € 2,255 (76.5%) € 5,470 (185.6%) 0% to 28% (14%) “Year levels” exist in groups 2–12
Berlin-Brandenburg 13 € 2,888 € 2,253 (78.0%) € 5,660 (196.0%) (10%) No tariff allowance for burden “Year levels” exist in groups 3–13
M + E MITTE: Hessen , Rhineland-Rheinhessen, Palatinate , Saarland 11 € 2,703 € 2,271 (84.0%) € 5,271 (195.0%) at least 10% “Year levels” exist in groups 4–11
Lower Saxony 13 € 2,936 € 2,223 (75.7%) € 5,661 (192.8%) min. 10% “Year levels” exist in groups 2–13
North Rhine-Westphalia 14th € 2,710.50 € 2,294 (78.3%) € 5,904.50 (217.8%) approx. 10% “Year levels” exist in groups 12-14
Osnabrück-Emsland 12 € 2,936 € 2,291 (78.1%) € 5,511 (187.7%) at least 10% “Year levels” exist in groups 1–12
Saxony 12 € 2,703 € 2,271 (84.0%) € 5,271 (195.0%) at least 10% “Year levels” exist in groups 1–12
Saxony-Anhalt 11 € 2,781 € 2,291 (82.4%) € 5,614 (201.9%) at least 8% “Year levels” exist in groups 1–11
NORDVERBUND: HH, SH, MV, Northwest. Lower Saxony, Lower Weser 11 € 2,937 € 2,393 (81.5%) € 6,034 (205.4%) (6%) “Year levels” exist in groups 2–11
Thuringia 12 € 2,703 € 2,271 (84.0%) € 5,271 (195.0%) at least 10% “Year levels” exist in groups 1–12
The term basic fee is only officially used by 3 tariff areas and, like the pay groups, does not allow any comparisons between the different tariff areas (as of July 1, 2016).


  • 1988: Intermediate step in the collective bargaining in Baden-Württemberg with the obligation to enter into negotiations on an ERA-TV.
  • 1989: Talks about an ERA-TV started.
  • 1996: The employers break off negotiations due to disputes over the protective function of the collective agreement. Negotiations started again after a few months.
  • 2003: On May 23, 2003, the first nationwide collective wage agreement (ERA-TV) between the IG Metall coast and the employers' association Nordmetall is concluded in Hamburg .
  • 2003: In September, the uniform remuneration system for all employees is introduced in the first companies
  • 2009: The ERA introductory phases also ended in the last federal states. The ERA is now fundamentally binding for all collective bargaining companies in the metal and electrical industry.
  • 2011: The introduction has also been completed in the last companies that made use of the option to postpone the introduction date. (Except Bavaria: here the companies could postpone the introduction without any time limit.)


  • Eckhard Eyer, Wolfgang Böddecker: Successfully introduce ERA. Methods and practical examples for the framework remuneration agreement (=  remuneration management ). Symposion, Düsseldorf 2006, ISBN 3-936608-79-2 ( books.google.de ).
  • Claudia Moosmann: The general remuneration agreement for the metal and electrical industry. Performance remuneration according to ERA and recommendations for operational implementation . VDM Verlag, Saarbrücken 2008, ISBN 978-3-8364-9417-5 .
  • Sebastian Brandl: A “milestone in tariff policy” is viewed. The collective wage agreements in the metal and electrical industry; Experiences - results - disputes (=  research from the Hans Böckler Foundation . Volume 131 ). Ed. Sigma, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-8360-8731-5 ( books.google.de ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Numbers booklet. September 7, 2018, accessed August 5, 2019 .
  2. a b c Goinger Kreis ( Memento of the original from September 13, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . The non-profit association of “ HR ” had an address at Infineon AG until mid-2009 . The members of the association belong to the following companies and organizations (as of November 24, 2009): Accenture GmbH, BHF-Bank (former Head of Human Resources), Carl Zeiss Vision International, CSC Deutschland Solutions GmbH, Daimler AG, DB Mobility Logistics AG , Evonik Industries AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Infineon Technologies AG, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Otto Group, Pawlik Sales Consultants AG, Praktiker Bau- und Heimwerkmärkte Holding AG, RZP GmbH, SAP AG, Schenker AG, Strategy for People.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.goinger-kreis.de
  3. ERA has reformed the M + E fee structure. Retrieved August 5, 2019 .
  4. See the structure of the ERA systems (pay groups or levels, assessment procedure) and a graphic representation under Execcon: ERA systems (PDF file; 702 kB).