Before the second round of negotiations in the collective bargaining dispute between the federal and local governments, the Verdi services union called for “substantial proposals” from employers to resolve the collective bargaining dispute.

“Anything else would be very disappointing and would result in an extension of the warning strikes – especially with regard to the duration,” said union chairman Frank Werneke of the “Rheinische Post”. If the negotiations in the third round should fail at the end of March, a ballot could be considered, Werneke said.

The Verdi boss suspects that the federal and local governments will offer an inflation compensation premium. However, the clear goal of the unions is a salary increase of 10.5 percent, but at least 500 euros more per month. “Permanently increasing prices also require permanently increasing wages – one-off bonuses do not have a lasting effect,” emphasized Werneke.

Employer still unclear

The general manager of the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA), Niklas Benrath, left open when there will be an offer from employers. “Whether and when we make an offer or whether we – as in many collective bargaining rounds in the past – come to an agreement without a formal offer depends on the specific course of the negotiations,” Benrath told the “Rheinische Post”. He accused Verdi of unnecessarily escalating the wage dispute.

“We are actually in constructive negotiations. As agreed with the unions, the focus will also be on areas that are particularly affected. For that reason alone I cannot understand the call for strikes and the new level of escalation by Mr. Werneke,” said Benrath .

More warning strikes announced

The second round of negotiations in the collective bargaining dispute for around 2.5 million public sector employees is planned for Wednesday and Thursday in Potsdam. The municipal employers reject the demands of Verdi and the civil service association as economically unmanageable.

In the past few weeks, employees of city administrations and local transport have repeatedly stopped working. Warning strikes have also been announced in Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.