The Semesterticket office of Humboldt University condemns the grotesque negotiation strategies employed by the university administrations in the talks with the TV-Stud bargaining committee, and asks them to agree to an immediate pay raise for student employees. In addition, we declare solidarity with the student employees and explicitly support the strike planned for June 4th-16th 2018.
The devaluation of academic work continues within the system. The conditions of employment for Berlin‘s more than 8000 student employees have so far been regulated by a collective wage agreement (TV Stud II). The last wage raise within this agreement dates back to 2001, almost two decades ago – even though the historical inflation since 2001, combined with the price trend in Berlin‘s housing market, has caused a significant raise in the cost of living for student employees. Despite these worsening living conditions and the continuing inflation the universities also stopped paying the Christmas bonus in 2004.
By failing to raise the wages, the responsibilities of student employees are not adequately honoured, particularly in comparision to universities in several other German states. This state of affairs is unacceptable for employees of Berlin‘s universities and in no way reflects the worth of their work.
During the latest negotiations on May 24th the employers once again refused to agree to a binding provision for raising the wages parallel to those of non-student employees in the future. They are also unwilling to raise the wages above their current offer of 12,13€ in order to reflect the loss of actual wages over many years. The universities continue to consider students second class employees and thus want to refuse them regular pay raises in the long term. Berlin‘s government has already released a joint press statement declaring that the universities have been obligated in the university contracts (Hochschulverträge) to adjust their employees‘ wages. Accordingly, the financial means have already been provided to the universities.
These cynical negotiation tactics are meant to suppress the employees‘ frustration, stringing them along for five more years and breaking the motivation for another strike. In reality, the adjustment of employment conditions to social changes, and thus a long-term raise of actual wages, has long been past due.
Through our work, the semester ticket office is particularly aware of the precarious situation many students find themselves in due to the massively increased costs of living. With this background we have decided to show solidarity with the students going on strike and offer only very reduced emergency office hours.