Germany’s public employees, long perceived as lazy bureaucrats
insulated from real-world pressures, are now facing the same demands
for lower costs and more flexibility from governments that their
counterparts in the private sector have been confronted with from
In negotiations taking place in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, federal
and local governments are demanding not only a wage freeze but also the
ability to extend working hours and curb overtime benefits, in what
would be the biggest overhaul of state work rules in more than 40 years.
And what is the response from the labor unions?
"We are flexible, but we need to see a salary increase."
Here is a previous installment in the Germany series.