Regional transport strikes set to end in Germany after union pay deal

The Local Germany
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Regional transport strikes set to end in Germany after union pay deal
Archive photo show busses in a depot in in Preetz, Schleswig-Holstein, during a Verdi strike. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Axel Heimken

Services union Verdi has scored a pay rise for regional rail workers, putting an end to weeks of disruption in some of Germany's largest states.


On Monday, the union announced that regional transport workers would be getting a €1,500 tax-free bonus in June followed by a €300-per-month pay increase between October 2023 and September 2024.

The deal covers some 5,000 workers working for around 40 local transport operators all over Germany, who are covered by the Rail Collective Agreement (ETV). 

It is likely to mean the end of strikes that have disrupted transport in the states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein in recent weeks.

Before the latest round of negotiations on May 5th, Verdi had called two such strikes, with around 2,000 workers taking part in each of the walkouts.

READ ALSO: New strikes to paralyse transport in several German states on Thursday

"Without the massive pressure from the unions, this result would not have been possible," said Verdi negotiator Volker Nüsse. 

Alongside the inflation compensation in June and the subsequent pay rise for full-time employees, the union also struck a deal for trainees in the regional transport sector.

This group will get a €750 tax-free bonus in June, followed by €150 extra per month from October 2023 to September 2024. 

"With the result, we have achieved a significant and swift increase in pay," Nüsse said. "In the lower and middle pay groups it means an increase of 9.3 to 13 percent and thus urgently needed relief in view of the high inflation."


The deal still needs to be finalised and can still be revoked anytime before May 26th, but if it passes, it will mean that the union is unable to reopen negotiations - or call further strikes - for the next 18 months. 

It follows another deal that saw Verdi net a 5.5 percent pay rise and €3,000 tax-free lump sum for transport workers employed by the local government.

READ ALSO: More rail strikes planned Wednesday in Germany: How long will they last?

However, with talks still ongoing between rail union EVG and Deutsche Bahn, commuters and holidaymakers could still have to contend with national rail strikes in the near future. 

The fourth round of pay negotiations between the national rail union and DB is scheduled for the end of May.


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