December 20, 2018 / 2:03 PM / 5 months ago

German union demands 6 percent more pay for public sector workers

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Verdi trade union on Thursday demanded 6 percent more pay for around 1 million public sector workers in the country’s states in 2019, adding that they should get at least 200 euros ($229.16) each more per month.

Their peers at the federal and municipal level secured a hefty pay hike earlier this year. Unions and employers agreed in April to boost the pay of more 2 million public sector workers by some 7.5 percent over 2-1/2 years.

Europe’s largest economy is in its ninth consecutive year of expansion but there are signs that it is cooling.

The wage negotiations for employees at the state level are due to start on Jan. 21 and if workers secure a robust pay hike, it could help boost consumption.

Household spending has become a key growth driver in recent years as Germans benefit from record-high employment, hefty pay hikes and low borrowing costs but private consumption weakened during the third quarter, holding back overall growth.

($1 = 0.8728 euros)

Reporting by Hans-Edzard Busemann; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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