World

German public service employees strike third straight day in bid for higher wages

Teacher join al rally in a bid to receive higher wages and preserve pension benefits in Leipzig, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The ver.di union said besides teachers other public employees including police and firefighters walked off the job in multiple states in Germany. (AP Photo/dpa, Peter Endig)

Teacher join al rally in a bid to receive higher wages and preserve pension benefits in Leipzig, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The ver.di union said besides teachers other public employees including police and firefighters walked off the job in multiple states in Germany. (AP Photo/dpa, Peter Endig)  (The Associated Press)

German teachers and other public service employees are staging short-term strikes for a third day to put pressure on the government ahead of a new round of wage negotiations.

The ver.di union said Friday's strikes would focus on the states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg. A total of nearly 100,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and others staged one-day strikes Wednesday and Thursday in other states.

With new talks scheduled to begin next week, the union says it has received no counter-offer to its demand for a minimum 5.5 percent pay increase. It's also fighting against a change in pensions it says would reduce benefits by 20 percent.

Verdi represents some 800,000 public workers but says a new agreement could also apply to a further 1.2 million employees, and 700,000 already-retired workers.