UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

6.3% 2 year wage deal agreed in Germany following public sector strikes

Two million German public sector workers will get a pay rise of 6.3 percent over two years, reports Reuters, ending a dispute that disrupted services across Germany in recent weeks.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who had led the negotiations with the ver.di union on behalf of the government, announced the breakthrough shortly before 7 a.m. this morning after all-night negotiations in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin.

"This wasn't a marathon, this was an Ironman (triathlon)," Friedrich told reporters at dawn on Saturday at the end of the final round of talks that started on Friday. He said employers had gone to the outer limit of what was acceptable.

Ver.di leader Frank Bsirske said it was difficult to accept the deal but at least the union had managed to narrow the gap to the pay rises workers in the private sector have been receiving. The annual inflation rate in Germany is about 2 percent.