26 September 2023

GERMANY: Politicians campaign for PS pay rise

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A group of left-wing German politicians have launched a campaign in support of wage demands by Public Servants saying “good wages for employees are affordable”.

The politicians, from a variety of left-wing parties at the Local Council level, called for a wealth tax to fund the increases.

“The rich and wealthy in our country must finally bear a greater share of the costs of the crises,” they said.

“The Federal Government must not only take responsibility for its own employees, but also help the municipalities financially.”

Meanwhile rolling public sector strikes have caused major disruptions at airports like Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf, as well as affecting local public transport, day care facilities and other local services.

Two Public Service trade unions, Verdi and Komba, called on members to down tools.

The industrial action is part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, prompted in part by inflation and rising food and fuel prices in 2022.

This has caused a series of strikes nationwide in recent weeks, often involving public sector workers.

Verdi official, Andrea Becker said employees were striking to put pressure on their respective employers because in the previous public sector negotiations with Government, no acceptable offer was put forward.

She said unions are calling for a pay increase of 10.5 per cent or a minimum of €500 ($A790) monthly, plus a promise to renegotiate terms again in 12 months.

“There has been no genuine progress in seven rounds of negotiations with no signal from employers so far that they want to find a solution at all,” Ms Becker said.

Berlin, 28 February 2023

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