Berlin as an example: Hamburg students have clear demands

Berlin as an example: Hamburg students have clear demands

Student employees are calling on the red-green Senate to enforce better working conditions at Hamburg universities. Together with the Verdi and GEW unions, they are calling for their own collective agreement. On Saturday, the students presented Finance Senator Andreas Dressel (SPD) with an invitation for talks.

The next round of collective bargaining between the federal states begins on October 1st. If the student organization “TVStud” has its way, a separate collective agreement for student employees will be negotiated. According to Verdi, 650 so-called student employees are already paid according to the tariff – this does not yet apply to around 8,500 other student and academic assistants.

Hamburg universities often have a bad working environment

They have no right of co-determination, are often paid less – and move from one fixed-term employment contract to the next. A small inquiry from the left-wing parliamentary group to the Senate only showed at the end of June that over 70 percent of the student employees have an employment contract that is limited to between two and six months.

The hourly wage is currently 10.91 euros, 14 cents more than last year. There are no special payments such as vacation or Christmas bonuses. “Many therefore do not even dare to assert their statutory vacation entitlement,” said Heidi Heil, herself a student assistant and active at “TVStud Hamburg”.

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On Saturday morning, SPD Finance Senator Andreas Dressel accepted at least the request for exploratory talks as part of a “TVStud” day of action. As a former student employee, he shows understanding for the matter and brings the topic into the collective bargaining round of the federal states. But Hamburg will not go a separate way, announced Dressel.

The students then moved on to Hanover. “TVStud” initiatives from all over Germany gathered there in the afternoon to demonstrate their goals in front of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Finance. Lower Saxony’s finance minister, Reinhold Hilbers, is also chairman of the collective bargaining association of German states.

Berlin is a role model for student employees

Berlin shows what a student collective agreement could look like. In the capital led by Red-Red-Green, this has been in effect since 2018. Student employees there are currently paid an hourly wage of 12.68 euros, get a contract for at least two years and have a minimum of 40 hours a month. There are also surcharges for work on weekends, on public holidays or at night.”The initiative of the university employees fills a crucial gap in the staff representation, because there is pure chaos here”, said the member of parliament Dr. Stephanie Rose on Friday. “The commitment of the collective bargaining initiative shows that the students are no longer willing to accept the wage slump on the part of the SPD and Grüner. The activists around TVStud have my full solidarity in this labor dispute. I very much hope that your commitment to a collective agreement will be successful and maybe even shed a little more light on the problems that we also have in mid-level staff and in the administration of universities, ”said Rose.

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In the event that the collective bargaining round of the federal states does not address the “TVStud” demands or the SPD and the Greens ignore the issue, “TVStud Hamburg” reserves more drastic means. “Through strikes and an offensive scandal,” the initiative will then fight for a student collective agreement, it said in a “Twitter” posting.