Beamter

From Academic Kids

The German word Beamter (female: Beamtin, plural: Beamte) means civil servant, and is pronounced be-AHM-tuhr with a glottal stop between the E and A. This English translation may be ambiguous, as German law puts public employees into two classes, namely ordinary employees (Angestellte) and Beamter, with the latter having more official duties and enjoying significant privileges.

The original idea was that whoever represents the state by doing official duties (hoheitliche Aufgaben) such as issuing official documents, making official decisions, and so on, should have a special kind of employment with the state.

Today, such functions are often executed by non-Beamte, and hence the difference is primarily seen in the advantages such as a good salary, a special health plan (the Beihilfe), a pension paid directly by the state instead of the usual public (also state-run) pension insurance, and most importantly, the virtual impossibility of losing one's job (basically, the state may only terminate the employment in case of very serious misdemeanor).

The status of Beamter is enjoyed by the senior staff of public authorities and civil services, but also by judges, policemen, teachers (not all of them) and like professionals, and by holders of political offices such as mayors, ministers, etc. (here, the employment is not permanent of course, but limited until the next election). A notable disadvantage or compensation is that Beamte, unlike all other public or private employees, lack the right to strike.

Formerly, this status was more liberally bestowed, and as it cannot be taken away there are still a lot of Beamte among the older people working at post offices, the railway, the Deutsche Telekom, the public utility companies, etc.

Today, the state aims to reduce the eligibility of state employees for Beamter status due to the higher costs of the additional privileges.de:Beamter nl:Ambtenaar

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