On Monday, 16th February 2015, the regular pay negotiations for the nearly 800.000 public employees of the German federal states, the Bundesländer, were launched. About one out of four public employees works at a public school while one out of seven is employed by a public university. The unions in the German public sector, among them ETUCE-member GEW the German Education Union, demand a pay rise of 5,5 percent, with a minimum of 175 Euro per month. 

The employers urged the unions to accept cuts in the public sector occupational pensions as a precondition for a pay agreement. The negotiations are to be continued on 26 and 27 February 2015.

Additionally, GEW aims to achieve a collective agreement on the pay scale grouping for teachers. So far, the assignment of teachers to pay groups has been regulated unilaterally by the employers. GEW and the umbrella organization of the Bundesländer employers, TdL, have negotiated for months to end this exception in the public sector. However, the employers insist that structural changes leading to wage increases could only be agreed on during the regular pay round.

Indirectly, the pay negotiations also affect the 1,2 million civil servants salaried by the Bundesländer, more than half of whom are teachers whereas in the past, wage agreements reached with the trade unions for the employees were also applied on civil servant remuneration. This good practice was increasingly violated by most Bundesländer in the time of austerity. Although criticized by the unions, according to German law civil servants are neither allowed to negotiate nor to strike for higher wages.

More information (in German) can be found here