Germany: GEW’ s week of action in Higher Education and Research


More than one hundred academic institutes throughout the sixteen German federal states will take part in the week of action “Traumjob in Wissenschaft” (Dream Work in Academia) organised by ETUCE’s German member organisation GEW.

It has been for several years that GEW raised demands for better employment conditions for academic workers: In Germany the vast majority of the academics working at higher education institutions are exploited through temporary contracts. And more than half of those still work under contracts with a term of less than a year.

In this situation particularly young academic workers are at the greatest disadvantage. They remain being engaged in temporary employment for a long time which also prevents most of them from the chance to get a full professorship. But furthermore, with the week of action GEW draws attention to the fact that these unsustainable conditions have also a very negative impact on the quality of German academic research and teaching.

GEW has prepared for the upcoming campaign week with the aim to push the German Federal Government towards an effective reform of the Academic Temporary Contract Law which has so far made it legally possible to keep academic staff exploited under temporary fixed-term contracts. Incentivized by GEW, the Federal Government has submitted the amendment to the Academic Temporary Contract Law concerning permanent positions for permanent assignments, minimum standards for temporary contracts, reliable career prospects. But nothing has been done to set a clear minimum contract period, to remove the block to the collective bargaining or to assure that the employ contract will keep on in case of maternity or parental leave.