Ver.di negogiates pay rise deal for 62,000 Deutsche Telekom workers

Saturday 14 April 2018

This month negotiators from Deutsche Telekom and the services trade union, ver.di, announced that they had reached a compromise for the 55,000 employees of Telekom Deutschland, the branch of the German telecommunications group which serves individuals and companies in the country. Ver.di not only negotiated a pay rise of between 4.8% and 5.2%, but workers will also see their working time reduced, thanks to an additional 14 days of paid leave per year. The agreement, which contains other benefits for workers, will be valid for 26 months.

Deutsche Telekom have been pushing to attract qualified workers, as it contends with the pressure of digitalisation and the ageing population, and this deal seeks to increase the appeal of the company. The pay rise applies to 55,000 workers and 7,000 apprentices, and provides for an overall wage increase of up to 5.2%.

Alke Boessiger, Head of the ICTS Sector at UNI Global Union, stated “this is an excellent result for ver.di and the 62,000 workers of Deutsche Telekom in Germany who are receiving a well-deserved pay rise. The success of these negotiations goes to show what can be achieved by sectoral collective bargaining and strong trade union support.”

More specifically, the pay scale is divided into two equal parts; those in the half on lower wages will receive the larger pay rise of 5.2%, while those in the upper half will get a 4.8% increase. The pay rises will be introduced in two phases, on 1st May 2018 and 1st May 2019. The lower-paid group will see their wages go up by 3.1% and then 2.1%, while the wages of those in the second group will go up by 2.7% and then 2.1%. The final result is very close to Verdi’s initial demand in terms of wages, with the union having asked for a 5.5% rise. Meanwhile pay for apprentices will increase in two phases, by 40 euros and then 30 euros monthly. The agreement also includes an employment guarantee which runs until 31st December 2020.

Social partners also reached an agreement for a reduction in weekly working hours, which will fall from 38 hours to 36 hours. However the reduction – which will apply from 2019 – will not be applied to the weekly schedule as workers will get an extra 14 days of paid holiday per year instead. Under the agreement, the working time reduction will also apply to part-time models that exist within the company. However, a date of implementation has not been agreed and negotiations are ongoing.

However, unfortunately, this deal does not apply to the 20,000 German employees of T-Systems International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Those employees will need to await the outcome of their next agreement, with negotiations between ver.di and the company management set for 2nd May.