According to the country’s Theatre Association wage increases were never in doubt


Following a series of short strikes yesterday, the German Theatre Association has come to an agreement with unions to raise wages at German state opera theatres and orchestras by between 2.1 and 2.4 percent. The salary increase applies to musicians and backstage staff throughout the country.

‘The pay rise was never up for discussion. We also want the artists to have a well-deserved salary increase,’ said Theatre Association director Rolf Bolwin. ‘The strikes of the last day were therefore totally unnecessary. The discussions were really about which salary components are covered by the tariff increases.’

In December of last year Germany’s ‘theatrical and orchestral landscape’ was recognised by UNESCO as ‘intangible cultural heritage’, after years of campaigning by the German Orchestra Union (DOV). The move followed decades of mergers and closures throughout the country – since 1992, 37 of its 168 publicly financed concert, opera, chamber and radio orchestras have been either dissolved or amalgamated with others. A one-day strike in September 2013 by more than 100 orchestras increased public awareness of the issue.

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