BERLIN, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Collective wages rose in Germany during the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, official figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Tuesday.
Monthly remuneration for the 17 million German employees who are subject to collective or "tariff" agreements rose by 2.3 percent on average in Q1 compared with the previous quarter, marking the fastest rate of quarterly increase in a year.
Inflation in Q1 was measured by the Wiesbaden-based government statisticians at 1.6 percent, meaning that real collective wages rose considerably as well. However, there was large variation in the level of average pay received by workers in different sectors of the economy.
The strongest increases in collective wages were recorded in the educational sector (3.7 percent), followed by the hospitality sector (3.2 percent) and retail (2.7 percent). By contrast, staff working in water supply and disposal (0.9 percent), mining (0.8 percent) and energy supply (0.5) only achieved modest gains.
Collective wages are widespread and legally binding in Germany as part of the country's "social partnership" model. The arrangements form part of a post-war political settlement between employer- and employee representatives which granted workers significant rights with regards to their labor conditions and their role in the cooperative management of companies.
Experts expect collective wages to continue to rise significantly in the course of the year due to the recent conclusion of widely-publicized negotiations and related "warning strikes" in the metal & electronics and public sectors. Metal- and electronics workers already experienced a 4.3 percent pay rise in the second quarter (Q2) of the year, while 2.3 million public sector employees have been promised a gradual 7.5 percent wage increase until 2020.