Are there any translators affected by the German metalworking industry's ERA?
Thread poster: Erdbeersahne
Erdbeersahne
German to English
Nov 8, 2007

Dear translators,

I am new to this forum and hope that I can find help here.

I am posting this topic because as much as I searched this forum, I could not find anything about the “Entgelt-Rahmen-Abkommen” (Single Status Pay Agreement) of the German metalworking industry. Is it possible that I am the only translator affected by it?

I have been working for the past then years as a translator for a medium-sized mechanical engineering company in Baden-Württemberg. My job is to translate manuals, contracts, specifications, etc from German into English/Spanish and vice versa. Moreover, I am coordinating all other translations required by my company (at the moment we need translations in approximately 20 different languages). I.e. I have to prepare documents for translation, find suitable translators, answer their questions, make sure that delivery dates are met and check translations and invoices.

This year my company introduced ERA and I got the payment group EG 11 along with a job description of a secretary. I told my company that I do not agree with this job description and payment group. I was told that ERA does not provide any job descriptions for translators and that they found that the intellectual level of my work corresponded to that of an upper-level secretary.

My question is: Are there any other translators out there that are affected by ERA? If so, to which payment group have you been assigned to and did you get a job description that corresponds to your actual work? I would be more than grateful for any answers!


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:38
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Slightly off-topic: terminology / job description Nov 8, 2007

Erdbeersahne wrote:
I am posting this topic because as much as I searched this forum, I could not find anything about the “Entgelt-Rahmen-Abkommen” (Single Status Pay Agreement) of the German metalworking industry. Is it possible that I am the only translator affected by it?


Dear "Erdbeersahne" (which indeed is a mouth-watering nickname, but I'd have preferred to address you by your real name nonetheless),

My apologies for being slightly off-topic, but I've frequently encountered the acronym/term ERA (Entgelt-Rahmen-Abkommen; Entgeltrahmenabkommen) in my translation and interpretation activity, and must say that the "single status" bit of your translation leaves me somewhat clueless (could you provide some insight as to why you chose this English version?). For further information on this matter, see http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1066846 and http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1018260

This year my company introduced ERA and I got the payment group EG 11 along with a job description of a secretary. I told my company that I do not agree with this job description and payment group. I was told that ERA does not provide any job descriptions for translators and that they found that the intellectual level of my work corresponded to that of an upper-level secretary.


This job description is of course grossly inappropriate - have you tried to get in touch with your local works or staff council regarding this misclassification?

Best regards,

Steffen


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:38
English to German
+ ...
Maybe ... Nov 8, 2007

you should also ask this question in the German forum.

I am not affected and I do not know what payment EG 11 is, but from my years in the work council I know that your job description should describe the job that you do, which is more like that of a project manager.

I know that management secretaries often do an amazing job and are paid quite well for it, but still this is not the work you do. So if there is a job description for project managers in the ERA I'd go for that. You manage projects and sometimes take part in them.

A translator's job also often includes university studies, so if you studied translation, you could also point this out. There is the job of a Fremdsprachensekretär/in in Germany, but this normally includes business English and correspondence and not the translation and editing of highly technical texts.

So there are some arguments you could use, here.


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Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
Maybe this helps? Nov 8, 2007

Hi Erdbeersahne,

I've found this article on the internet, which mentions a large automobile manufacturer that has also introduced 'ERA'. Apparently, many of the employees are furious about their new salary group classifications - and translators even get a specific mention...

http://www.labournet.de/branchen/auto/dc/s/index.html

(scroll down to read "DC Zentrale in Stuttgart - großer Unmut über ERA auf den Betriebsversammlungen")

You may be able to get in touch with the translation department there and see if they can provide you with any more information (I'm sure they have a whole team of translators, so that they will be in a stronger bargaining position than you, being on your own).

Anyway, best of luck!

Anita


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Erdbeersahne
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Good ideas ... Nov 8, 2007

Dear Steffen,

Sorry for the nickname. I have tried other names, including my real name, but none of them were available anymore.

I used the "single status" translation from some English-language information on ERA I was given some months ago (www.gesamtmetall.de/gesamtmetall/meonline.nsf/id/era/$FILE/ERAEng.pdf). However, I admit that the translations suggested in your forum discussions seem to be more appropriate.

I have talked to our work council representative about my problem. They told me to go and find an appropriate ERA job description myself!

Dear Claudia,

Good idea! I'll try to ask this question in the German forum. As soon as I find out how ...
I will also try to find a job description of a project manager and see which parts apply to me. Thank you!

Dear Anita,

In fact, this is what puzzles me. I know for sure that Daimler-Chrysler has a translation department. And they also should have ERA. Therefore, it is so hard to believe that they, too, have no appropriate job description. Maybe you are right and I should try to contact them. The worst I can get is a negative reply, right?! Thank you for your feedback!

Kind regards to you all,

Sonja


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:38
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
German forum access - here's how... Nov 8, 2007

Erdbeersahne wrote:
Good idea! I'll try to ask this question in the German forum. As soon as I find out how ...


Go to http://www.proz.com/forum/27 and click on "Post new topic"

Steffen


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Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Secretary vs. translator Nov 8, 2007

Hello,

I used to be a secretary in a university department. The job description is entirely different. Also, training is too different.

Translating is an honourable, respectable and a very challenging job; it requires university degrees in languages/translations and a specialized degree. In your case, it should be mechanical engineering and the like.

If you ask a secretary whether she/he knows anything about translation memory tools, CATs, it would be double Dutch to that person.

This is not discrimination; you are either to be a project manager or a translator.


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