Pay deal agreed with German public sector workers

1st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble announced details of the agreement, following a weekend of talks with the services union Verdi.

Berlin -- German public sector workers agreed a new pay deal with the federal government and local authorities on Monday, averting the prospect of a nationwide strike.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble announced details of the agreement, following a weekend of talks with the services union Verdi in Potsdam, 20 kilometers southwest of Berlin.

Schaeuble said the country's 1.3 million public service workers would receive a monthly increase of 50 euros (78 dollars) plus 3.1 percent backdated to January. In addition there would be a 2.8 percent increase plus a one-off payment of 225 euros from January 2009.

Verdi chairman Frank Bsirske said the deal meant that public service workers would receive an increase above the annual inflation rate for the first time in many years.

Bsirske said the agreement averaged out at 7.9 percent over two years, more than the employers' original offer of 5 percent.

Mediators last weak proposed an improved offer, which was turned down by the union amid threats of widespread industrial action if no compromise was found.

Verdi has staged a series of token strikes since mid-February, affecting hospitals, public transport, daycare centers and airports.

Stronger economic growth of 2.9 percent in 2006 and 2.5 percent last year provided ammunition for demands in various sectors for a substantial pay rise.

Verdi announced that postal workers would stage pinpoint strikes on Tuesday to press demands for more pay, following the breakdown of talks with management on Friday.

DPA with Expatica

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