Public sector employees at German universities are calling for a pay increase with warning strikes and rallies. The protests are expected to continue in the coming days.
Public sector employees have demanded better pay with warning strikes, rallies and protests at more than 70 universities in Germany. Under the motto “Stop precarious science,” an alliance of trade unions, initiatives, student representatives and university policy organizations mobilized for a day of action. According to the unions, hundreds of people took part in the rallies in various cities, including Hamburg, Dresden, Cologne and Munich.
According to the Education and Science Union (GEW), around 1,500 people stopped working in Berlin alone. “We have more university employees on the streets than ever before during this collective bargaining round,” said the chairwoman of the GEW Berlin regional association, Martina Regulin.
These are the demands
As part of the current collective bargaining round for state employees, the unions are demanding a salary increase of 10.5 percent, but at least 500 euros more per month. The unions are also negotiating a collective agreement for student assistants. The massive fixed-term contracts at universities are also an issue. Verdi demands that at least 35 percent of scientific employees should be employed on a permanent basis.
There are also demands that go beyond the collective bargaining agreement. These include higher Bafög rates and research and teaching that is financed independently of third-party funding and project funding.
Warning strikes with rallies are planned for the next few days in Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Wuppertal, Bielefeld, Münster, Dortmund and Duisburg, among others.
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