Honorary teacher in Germany: academics below the poverty line


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On a normal Tuesday morning the alarm clock of Susanne Hausner rings around 6.45 clock. But she comes home against 21 clock. Nevertheless, it has barely more than 882,50 Euro per month for rent and food. And this, although she has finished her studies of political and English with excellent marks.

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Despite political importance only minimum wages

Susanne Hausner teaches German as a foreign language in an integration course at a continuing education institution in North Rhine Westphalia. The name is a pseudonym, because Hausner risks her job with this interview. And he's paid more than badly:

Although for the state the integration of foreigners is an important task, he only provides a minimum tariff of 15 Euro per teaching hour for their teachers. Teachers, who usually have a completed university degree as well as an additional qualification for German as a foreign language. For comparison, the statutory minimum wage for construction workers is about 1565 Euro; Wages under 1440 Euro are considered as poverty wages.

The poor wage is still the social insurance

But the 15 Euro per hour can not keep Susanne Hausner: Since she is not employed, but works freelance, she has to pay from her meager fee even their health and long-term care insurance itself, which is again 15,1 percent less a month ,

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In addition, apprentices are self-employed, who are also legally obliged to pay 19,9 percent of their income into the statutory pension fund every month. The fact that many teachers are pushing for this duty and prefer to live with the constant fear of discoveries and extra payments is an open secret.

Travel expenses must be borne by them themselves

For Susanne Hausner, after the high deductions, 1051,50 euros are left over monthly. She also needs a monthly ticket for public transport, which costs another 169 euros, because a car can not afford them. At the community college, there are cheaper Jobtickets - but only for the employees, not for the freelance staff.

All duties and costs are of course monthly. However, the money from the Volkshochschule comes in only every eight to ten weeks - "if the administration pays on time", as Hausner limits. Because: "I only get the money when a language course has ended and I have fully fulfilled my contract."

Loss of income makes the income incalculable

However, Susanne Hausner can never really be sure whether she really has 882,50 euros available per month: “If there are fewer than ten students registering for one of my courses, it will not take place and I will not receive any money.” she explains. Even if she gets sick, it is her personal bad luck, because "I am not paid for sick leave of hours."

For this fee, Susanne Hausner teaches about 26 to 30 hours a week in three different courses. She cannot choose how many hours she has to work every day, because that depends on the lesson plan, over which she has no influence: “Therefore, I work ten hours one day and only four the next,” reports Hausner, who works every day not only have to hold the lessons, but also have to prepare and follow them up.

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Student supervision and social work

In addition, there are many other tasks in practice for which Hausner is actually not paid at all: "Maybe during the break Fatima from Turkey will bring me her application for social assistance or Antonella from the Congo will bring me my application for housing benefit."

Even if the teacher has no idea, she is happy to help and translate the questions into English or French, because: "Nobody else knows German who knows."

Administrative work and exploitation

Susanne Hausner, however, finds the worst of all that she has to take on administrative work for the small pay even though she is neither employed nor has an office:

"So I should always call missing course participants afterwards, send them their certificates or register them at other institutions if they are unsuitable for my course", says Hausner, who feels exploited by such extra tasks: "How little we teachers earn is known to the entire administration. But I know that the administration is on the longer lever and can simply not give me a new contract if I show myself not to cooperate. ”

Idealism in the job

Why is she doing the job at all? “It's actually fun too. Because I think that I can help shape our immigrants' image of Germany. ” Hausner names the positive aspects of her work.

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“If they find their way in my course and can take something positive with them, they may also find their way around Germany better and identify with democracy and the rule of law.”

No single case

That the case of Susanne Hausner is not an individual case can also be found on the website of the action Butterbrot http://www.aktionbutterbrot.de , a representation of interests, which fights nationwide for better working conditions of fee teachers.


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    Maybe ... we will show that together, for example in front of the Chancellery.

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      Thank you. Sometimes an idea - like the shoe demo against Gutenberg back then!

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