Germany’s main railway union, the EVG, said it had agreed a wage deal in a year-long dispute with German rail operator Deutsche Bahn.

EVG, which represents most railway-related workers and professionals, said the two sides had agreed to a wage hike for all employees from July 1 of 3.5 percent, or at least 80 euros more per month.

From May 2016, they would receive a further 1.6 percent increase or at least 40 euros per month.

“For our members there will be significantly more money from the middle of the year,” Regina Rusch-Ziemba, the EVG’s lead negotiator said in a statement.

Sources close to the negotiations had told Reuters earlier the two sides had reached a deal for a 3.6 percent increase.

The union had called for a monthly wage hike of 6 percent for its workers, or a minimum of an extra 150 euros per month for the lower paid workers.

It had warned it could stage strikes if it did not reach an agreement in the latest negotiating round.

Second Dispute

Ulrich Weber, Deutsche Bahn’s personnel chief, said given the tough competitive environment the wage deal was “a compromise at the limit of what was possible”.

Deutsche Bahn is conducting separate negotiations with the smaller train drivers’ union GDL, which agreed to suspend a strike last week after both sides agreed to arbitration in the 10-month old dispute.

The GDL union wants a 5 percent pay rise for its members, a shorter working week and the right to represent other workers in the company, such as train stewards. Deutsche Bahn has offered a 4.7 percent pay rise plus a one-off payment of 1,000 euros. (Reuters)