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Berlin teachers start public sector strike

Berlin teachers start public sector strike
Photo: DPA

Planned nationwide public sector strikes began on Monday in Berlin as staff walked out of around 100 schools in a wage dispute. Substitute staff have, for the most part, been put in place.

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Schools informed parents ahead of time and recommended that if possible they keep their children at home on Monday, Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported. Some schools managed to find full teaching cover while others had only emergency care in place.

Kindergartens would generally be less affected through the day because the majority of staff were employed by agencies, the newspaper reported.

Strikes should last the entire day in Berlin and then on Tuesday move over to more states. Other areas of the public sector like road maintenance workers are also likely join the picket lines.

Public sector union Verdi is behind the labour action and is pushing for a raise of 6.5 percent for some 800,000 members of public sector workers. It also wants a guaranty of €100 more per month. Discussions are already underway and the third round is set for March 7th and 8th.

Past attempts between Verdi, educational union GEW and the union of police GdP failed to come to an agreement, which Verdi leader Frank Bsirske called “unacceptable.”

Known as "warning strikes" in German, the action is not open-ended but more a day of muscle-flexing to show employers they mean business.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

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