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A Vote for All

University of Freiburg employees will elect a new staff council on 2 July and 3 July 2019

Freiburg, Jun 24, 2019

The staff council gets a say when a person joins the ranks of university employees. It monitors employer compliance with wage accord and occupational safety regulations and advises employees individually if they have questions or conflicts with colleagues. The staff council has the responsibility for a broad range of tasks at the University of Freiburg. On 2 July and 3 July 2019, all the university’s staff members can decide on the council’s composition. The issues that will occupy panel members during the new term of office are already fairly clear.

Strength in togetherness: The staff council makes shared concerns and interests visible within the university community, raising awareness for many that they often have the same worries and needs. Photo: tomertu/

After a five-year term, it is time to hold elections for a new staff council at the University of Freiburg. Voting will take place on 2 July and 3 July 2019. Employees will be casting ballots for the 25 members of the local staff council at the University of Freiburg. At the same time, elections will be held for the main staff council of the Ministry of Education, Research, and Art (MWK) of Baden-Württemberg as well as for the youth and apprentice representative. “The more people who use their right to vote, the more support we will have in the university,” explains staff council member Christine Jägle. “With reinforced back up, we will be able to position ourselves more advantageously vis-á-vis the employer,” she explains.

The staff council is the link between the employees and the university. “It plays a central role in order to make the collective visible,” says staff council member Oliver Trachte. He adds, “So many people work at the university who belong to different status groups and are distributed across individual institutes and facilities. It’s important that we let them know that they face the same questions and share the same cares and needs.” Trachte has been active within the staff council since 1997 and is now its deputy chairman. He particularly enjoys taking part in university working groups, which among other things, address issues like personnel development or family-friendliness. “That’s the place where we point out the view of the staff regarding certain topics and introduce their ideas,” says Trachte.

Cooperation between equals

The university administration sees the staff council as an equal negotiating partner, reports staff council chairman Helmut Waller. “Rector Hans-Jochen Schiewer, for example, discussed ideas for the excellence strategy with us  and took on our suggestions,” says Waller. He adds that the confidence shown to him and his colleagues as employee representatives is not a foregone conclusion. Waller continues, “It reinforces us in our approach. We want to engage in critical, but constructive cooperation in order to achieve as much as possible for the employees.”

An election will also be held for the trainees. Photo: Harald Neumann

Input from the staff council has helped to bring many new university programs into existence. Just a few of the milestones in which the panel played a role are health management, introduction of flextime and teleworking, and accelerated rise through the pay grades. “What is more, we see it as a huge success when people get back to us and say that their individual consultation with us helped with their problem,” says Waller.

With new orientation

The panel members will decide which goals they will pursue specifically after the election. Yet Waller says there are a few issues that are already anchored on their agenda. He adds that he wants to see progress in the areas of health protection, work overload, and employees’ hours. The staff council carried out a university-wide survey and held a workshop. It asked the employees which problems they have and what they would like to see with respect to how rules for working hours are set. At the moment the team is hammering out a concept for the work agreement with the university in which the results of the survey will be incorporated.

New orientations for the panel’s work could also include the concept of co-creation, which is already being tried in the central administration in order to optimize the lost-and-found procedure. It will now be tested with other processes at the university. “I’m expecting a great deal from that. Because the concept could lead to the dissolution of hierarchies at the university. All ideas would get a hearing, regardless of their status,” says Trachte. That’s a fundamental belief that has always belonged to the staff council.

Sonja Seidel


Take part!

All University of Freiburg employees, including undergraduate assistants, are eligible to cast a ballot to elect members of the staff council. Only professors, guest lecturers, and adjunct lecturers are ineligible. Two polling places – one in the University Library and another in the Chemistry Hi-rise on Alberstraße 21, will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on 2 July. The next day, there will be a polling place each at the Institute of Biology and the Faculty of Engineering. These will be open from 9 a.m. to 1. p.m. All those eligible to vote may apply for a postal ballot.

For a postal ballot contact