Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results.
The teachers are demanding 5.5% more money, with a minimum increase of €175 per month.
But negotiations between the teachers and the representatives of the federal states which employ them broke down on Friday over a lack of a compromise on pension schemes and salary brackets.
Berlin teachers will kick off the strike on Monday, while teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia start on Tuesday. Strikes are also expected in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.
Pensions for public servants are set to be reformed in the face of rising costs. Around 200,000 teachers across Germany are seeking to have their salaries standardised, but the two negotiating sides have so far failed to agree on how much pay is fair.
The GEW will not allow anyone touch their pensions, it said in a statement on Friday.
“Hands off the pensions of the employees! The employers want employees to bear the burden of pensions alone,” said Andreas Gehrke, chief negotiator for GEW.
Gehrke added that the TdL has yet to prove reforming the pensions are necessary. According to the education trade union's calculation, the funds for providing additional post-retirement coverage for employees are healthy.
The next round of negotiations is due in March. Trade unions have called for the results from the teacher negotiations to be applied to Germany's two million current and retired state employees.