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There is an alternative!

Published on Apr 03, 2019 Tags: , ,
The management of the Humboldt-Uni made an error in their budget: should the academic staff pay for it? Not with us! There is an alternative!

Cold cuts - What's going on?

Due to mistakes in the budget, Humboldt-Universität (HU) Berlin imposed a far-reaching ban on extending positions for the period up to 2022. At the rather small Geographical Institute alone, this suspension of replacements and follow-up contracts for academic staff is supposed to save more than half a million euros during this period. In some departments, it is estimated that the cut will affect up to 20% of the teaching activities. The first victim of the cuts is department of didactics, where the Master of Education will become practically inoperative.

But why should the precarious and temporarily overburdened academic staff ("Mittelbau") pay the price of this incorrect management? Why should seminars and research projects be affected if it is the HU-direction, including (vice) presidents Kunst and Kronthaler, that is responsible of this wrong management? The cuts will mainly affect temporary research assistants. Part-time work, fixed-term contracts, heavy workloads and unpaid teaching assignments have always been the way universities implement savings policies of the Länder while increasing the number of students, everything at the expense of a precarious Mittelbau. Academic employees will get conversion to long-term status only if they take on additional  tasks at the expense of the workers in IT, services and administration.

The university should serve the interests of students and all workers, not just academic staff but also services, IT and administration. As a HU Betriebsgruppe in the education section of the FAU Berlin, we call on the HU direction to withdraw the current policy of cuts. To this end, the HU direction must demand adequate funding from the state of Berlin, which demands the training of more teachers on universities.

Do you also want to become active at your university for better working and learning conditions?

Then come to our cross-status  group meeting, which is open to interested poeple regardless of trade union membership. We meet every 1st Wednesday of the month at 19 o'clock. Write to us at if you would like to come by!

We call on all students and staff to make a commitment to the following demands at departmental (Abteilung), institute (Institut) and faculty (Fakultät) management levels as well as towards the direction of the university:

1. immediate measures: the hiring restrictions of academic staff will be replaced by voluntary hourly reductions and hiring restrictions for professors. In addition, we call on all professors to oppose the HU management and demand the following points instead of carrying out the conflict on the backs of students and academic staff.

2. Fighting structural problems: All committees (Gremien) of the Humboldt University are called upon to position themselves against a renewed participation of the HU in the Excellence Initiative in order to escape the competitive madness of the German higher education landscape. At the same time, they are demanding that the university management, the state and the federal government return the money to the university's core tasks and abandon the austerity policy, which threatens all services of general interest.

3. democratisation and transparency: creation of transparency about the causes of the financial shortage and about the decision-making structures that caused the cuts and in which it was decided to pass them on to the middle management.


Stronger together

Click here to get to the FAU Berlin's English membership formThe FAU Berlin is an independent grassroots union. It is part of the German Free Workers' Union (FAU) federation. Join us, take part, get active.

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FAU Berlin is currently restructuring! This means that we are reducing some of our public activities, to focus on our strategy for the future. Throughout this time we are still providing support to our membership. If you are a member and need assistance, don't hesitate to contact your section/workplace group, or drop into our open Lokal on Fridays.

Intro and advice
Introductory seminar: FAU – How does it work? - Cancelled until further notice.
Open FAU office: Every Friday, 5:00–8:00 PM.
union help desk: always on the 2. and 4. Friday of the month, 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
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Tenant rights help desk: Cancelled until further notice.
Advice for worker and business collectives: See the advice page (german) of the union coop // federation.
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Name: Allgemeines Syndikat Berlin
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