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Germany – Temporary worker hourly wage increases announced

17 September 2013

It was announced today that an agreement has been reached between the Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund - DGB) and the employer’s association of the temporary staffing industry (Verhandlungsgemeinschaft Zeitarbeit - VGZ), securing increases to the minimum wage through to 2016.

The two organisations negotiated a new collective agreement for collective bargaining agreements, collective framework agreements, and collective wage agreements. DBG is an umbrella organisation for eight German trade unions and represents more than six million people. VGZ is the negotiating representative of two major temporary worker employers’ associations; the Federal Employer’s Association of Personnel Services (BAP) and the IGZ, the Temporary Workers Association. 

On the 1 January 2014, the minimum wage in the West will rise by +3.8% to €8.50 and in the East by +4.8% to €7.86. The next agreed increase will be on 1 April 2015, with the West increasing the minimum hourly wage by +3.5% to €8.80 and the East increasing by +4.3% to €8.20.

A final increment has been agreed for the 1 June 2016, when the West will increase its hourly wage by +2.3% to €9.00 and the East will increase by +3.7% to €8.50.

Thomas Bäumer, negotiator for VGZ, said: “The rate increases in connection with the modified classification principles of the collective framework agreement for the pay groups 1, 2, and 4 represents a conclusion that has brought us to our absolute negotiating limit. The use of temporary work is, financially, at the core of the workforce and has become more attractive for temporary workers. The increases, however, will be a heavy burden on the industries.”

Holger Piening, depute negotiator for VGZ, added: “I am delighted that we have managed to achieve a sustainable outcome in the negotiation before the election. The policy signal reads: Temporary employment is in the best hands with the negotiating parties. We have once again made it clear, with these increases, that temporary work is an important and skilled service that offers good pay prospects for people. Although this result leads us, especially in the east, to the limits of what can be viable. However, this agreement gives us a safety plan until the end of 2016. It is now absolutely necessary that the policy also recognises the industry’s efforts and refrains from further regulation of the industry.”          

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