German government knocks back unions’ 6% pay claim

26 Feb 18

Germany’s public sector workers have had their claim for a 6% pay rise rejected by the federal government and municipalities because it was too much and would force the outsourcing of jobs.

The first round of wage negotiations for more than 2 million civil servants and other public sector employees began on Monday in Berlin and are set to last for several weeks.

Germany’s Verdi trade union and the DBB, the German Civil Service Federation, want public sector workers to get 6% or at least €200 more per month in a 12-month deal.

Acting interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement: “The union demands are far too high and not feasible.”

He added that public sector pay increases had exceeded the index of negotiated wage agreements in Germany over the past 10 years.

The head of Verdi, Frank Bsirske, said it was time to improve the attractiveness of public sector jobs by raising wages at a time when the economy is booming.

Germany is Europe’s biggest economy, with tax revenues at record levels and the budget in surplus.

Earlier this month, 3.9 million workers in the industrial sector sealed a deal on pay and flexible working hours that resulted to a hike of roughly 4% per year for both 2018 and 2019.

The Social Democrats and Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union have agreed on a coalition deal, months after the general election in September.

Leading up to the election, Merkel pledged full employment and tax cuts by 2025.


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