German public sector workers agree to wage deal with employers

Berlin, April 23 (BNA): German public sector workers have agreed a wage deal with employers, which Interior Minister Nancy Wesser and the Verdi union said today, Saturday, ends a dispute that has crippled the transport sector in Europe’s largest economy.

According to Reuters, the agreement for about 2.5 million workers in the sector comes after arbitration.

Under the agreement, each worker will receive a total of 3,000 euros in tax-free payments in installments until February 2024, the ministry said in a statement, to help offset inflation.

She added that starting March 2024, wages will increase by 200 euros per month, and in a second step, there will be an increase of 5.5%.

The deal will last for two years.

Verdi, which had wanted 10.5% more money, said it would begin a survey of its members with the wage committee making a final decision on May 15.

“We have reached our pain threshold with our decision to make this settlement,” said Frank Wernke, Verdi’s president.

The rising cost of living this year has led to some of Germany’s most disruptive strikes in decades.

Consumer prices rose 9.6% in Germany in 2022, but price pressures eased in recent months after the winter energy crisis did not materialize and supply chain problems receded.

Home Secretary Nancy Visser said “This agreement brings remarkable relief to employees. Tax-free payments will quickly appear in the wallets.”

Last month, strikes by the Verdi and DBB unions brought railways and airports to a near halt in Germany’s biggest strike in more than three decades, according to Verdi.

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