Services union ver.di has expressed its regret that a constitutional court ruling on 12 June has confirmed that civil servants do not have the right to strike. Responding to the judgement ver.di executive committee member Wolfgang Pieper argued that it fails to acknowledge the rights to strike and freedom of association that are afforded by the European Convention of Human Rights. The Court ruling is based on the argument that civil servants have a special relationship of trust with the state which on its side has a special duty of care towards civil servants. In the view of the court this relationship would be undermined by the right to strike for civil servants. Pieper points out that unilateral cuts to civil servants' pay and conditions have themselves undermined this relationship and that there is clearly a case to be made for stronger representation and negotiation rights for civil servants.
Court confirms strike ban for civil servants
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Unions and the government have returned to the negotiating table after a series of actions by civil servants showed the strength of feeling among workers for a decent pay rise. The government had offered a pay rise of 7% over three years, below the unions' target of 3.5% over one year. The agreement covering 118000 civil servants expired in December 2017.