After several years heading a department I was grudgingly allowed to know my team’s salaries. The longest serving member was so far behind some others doing a similar job, that no sensible amount of adjustment would have brought them to parity. It was pitifully embarrassing. And because they stubbornly refused to accept that any new duties, it wasn’t even possible to finesse a ‘promotion’ for them. What I learned is that German companies will offer you as little as they can get away with, and have no qualms about inequality. They also have no concept of personal development, or regular pay rises. You just have to move on to the next job and try to get a better deal. There are no prizes for loyalty.