To: The Tarifgemeinschaft deutscher Länder (TdL) and the responsible (state) ministers

We, student employees in science and administration, employees of the academic middle class, professors and supporters call on the responsible ministers of the federal states to improve the working conditions of student employees. This includes that the Tarifgemeinschaft deutscher Länder finally gives up its blockade attitude towards the unions ver.di and GEW regarding a collective agreement for student employees and clears the way for negotiations.

Almost all employees at German universities are covered by collective bargaining agreements and have the right to elect their own staff council. Almost all. For the majority of the nearly 400,000 students who are employed as assistants and tutors at the universities, these minimum standards of employee rights are not implemented. In concrete terms, this means lower pay, unrealized vacation entitlement and often no continued payment of wages in the event of illness. In addition, there are short contract terms, which create further existential insecurity through the succession of fixed-term contracts. Insecure working conditions are thus the bitter norm for student employees.

In the meantime, student employees have become a supporting pillar of the scientific enterprise. Whether they support research and teaching, provide support services during lectures, work in administration and libraries, or correct exams – as varied as these activities are, they are important for the functioning of university processes. Especially during the Corona pandemic, it becomes all the more apparent how much (digital) university operations also depend on them.

In short, we student employees help keep things running at all. We also have the right to good working conditions and collective bargaining coverage – without exception!

Together, we therefore demand the improvement of working conditions.

This includes:

  • Living wages! Bring on the collective agreements for student employees.
  • Annual wage increases! For the connection to the wage increase of the collective agreement of the countries.
  • Planability through minimum contract terms! For the end of chain fixed-term contracts.
  • Compliance with minimum standards! Vacation entitlement and continued payment of wages in case of illness must be the rule.
  • Co-determination for us too! Democratic participation in staff councils must not exclude student employees.
  • No exception! For the improvement of the working conditions of student employees.

At our student council meeting on April 7, 2021, we decided to support the petition “No exception! For the improvement of the working conditions of student employees”.

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