International school teachers strike in Munich

Tom Bristow
Tom Bristow - [email protected] • 10 Sep, 2014 Updated Wed 10 Sep 2014 15:19 CEST

UPDATE: Teachers at one of Bavaria’s top international schools held a warning strike on Wednesday in a protest over pay.

Around 80 teachers at the Bavarian International School (BIS), north of Munich, walked out for the day in a dispute over wages, with the union describing the industrial action as a “unique event”.

The school, where fees cost up to €16,000 a year, has pupils from over 40 nations, but teachers say they are being paid less than other international schools around Munich.

Teachers told The Local they were negotiating with the school directorate until Tuesday night but could not reach an agreement and therefore carried out the warning strike on Wednesday.

One teacher said: “We want to receive an increase [in pay] that takes us towards schools in the area.

“Over the years, wages have not been adjusted for inflation, leaving staff earning less in comparison to the previous year. Over the past 12 years, this has had a substantial impact on our salary scales.”

Teachers at the school, which has 1,000 pupils, want a pay rise of 5.1 percent, which they say would be in line with inflation for the past three years.

The school’s director, Dr Chrissie Sorenson, told The Local: “This is a warning strike, not a full strike.

“We have been in negotiation with Verdi [the union]. They have rejected four of our proposals. We made proposals but they feel they need to do this.

"We had a completely normal schedule in our primary school on Wednesday and a revised and relevant schedule for our secondary school students. The majority of students were in school today." 

According to the union, the strike meant students in 11th and 12th grade did not have lessons.

The school is currently building a new multi-million-euro city campus due to open next year and teachers argue that has meant their wages have been frozen for years.

“Inflation in Bavaria has increased by 19.1 percent from 2002-2014. Salaries have not, by any extent, kept up with this cost of living change despite increased school fees and increased numbers of students.

“Employees are striking today because the most recent written proposal from management still does not increase the salary for each point on the scale beyond inflation in the period 2011-2014.

“Employees are also striking today because of the paucity of the investment in human resources whilst the school continues to develop facilities and commit to a second campus in the city of Munich.”

The union, which has made three wage proposals to the school’s management, added the pay offers being made by the school were still “unacceptable”. 

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Tom Bristow 2014/09/10 15:19

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