Minister of Economy and Labor Martin Kocher (ÖVP) expressed his satisfaction on Friday after the agreement was reached the previous day on the 2024/25 collective agreement for various sectors of the metal industry.
Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) defended the civil servants’ pay deal, which metalworkers’ head of employers Christian Knill had previously described as useless. Knill criticized the government for pushing for one-off payments but not taking advantage of them.
Salaries in the public sector will increase by 9.15 percent on January 1, 2024, and there will be no caps or one-off payments. The unions had resisted the latter to the end in the metalworkers’ negotiations. Knill admitted that this desire of the industry could not be realized in this “environment”. However, there is a ceiling in the metal industry; 400 euros gross per month.
Kogler ignored industry criticism
Vice Chancellor Kogler did not acknowledge the industry’s criticism today. It was “right and important” for officials to draw a quick conclusion without too much fanfare. Kogler said in “T1-Mittagsjournal” that the government is covering rising inflation, there is competition with the private sector in the labor market.
Minister of Economy Kocher (ÖVP) was pleased with the outcome of the metal sector. Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference, he said the agreement was “a sign that the wage-setting system in Austria is working.” Despite the difficult circumstances, the social partners showed that they had the ability to find solutions. However, he did not want to comment on the content of the agreement.
Praise from Wifo manager
Praise for the social partners in the metal sector, for which the new KV is valid retroactively until November 1, came from Wifo manager Gabriel Felbermayr. “This is a really good result,” he said on “ZIB2” yesterday. Both sides had embarked on new things. “This was a very important signal that our social partnership is still working,” the economist said. The industry association said: “Overall the agreement represents a workable and creative solution that largely takes into account the current challenges.”
Yesterday, Thursday evening, the agreement in the metal engineering industry, mining/steel industry and non-ferrous metals industry followed eight rounds of negotiations and strikes. An average gross increase of 8.6 percent in wages and salaries is anticipated. Thanks to a sliding scale, low-income earners get ten percent more. The agreement will be valid for two years, and in the second year, one percent will be added to the changing inflation rate.
The new gross minimum wage or minimum basic salary is now 2,426.23 euros. The 10 percent increase will apply if gross income is just under 4,200 euros, after which it will drop to a maximum monthly increase of 400 euros. The increase in income was 5.5 percent in gross terms, to just under 8,000 euros. In the first year of study, income increases to 1,000 euros.
There are cosmetic defects
The deal still has one small flaw. The agreement has not yet officially entered into force; It is subject to the special design of the new article called the competition protection clause. It is intended to be applied to companies with high personnel costs and allows the actual increase to be reduced in exchange for more free time. Negotiations on this are currently ongoing, but both sides have expressed confidence that they will meet here early next week. The KV contract in retail is still open; Warning strikes are being held here today.