German state employees win 5.6 percent raise
Some 800,000 employees of Germany's state governments have won a pay increase totaling 5.6 percent over two years.
The pay deal for employees including police officers, firefighters and workers at ministries in all but one of Germany's 16 states was concluded Saturday.
It features a 2.65 percent pay rise backdated to Jan. 1, to be followed next January by a further 2.95 percent increase. That's above Germany's 1.5 percent annual inflation rate but well short of unions' initial demand for a 6.5 percent raise over one year.
Germany's economy has grown in recent years while many other European countries have struggled. The growth has fueled calls for big pay rises after years of relative restraint; last March, federal and municipal employees won a 6.3 percent raise staggered over two years.