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Germany: Teachers Strike at BIS
By Meadow Hilley 02-Oct-14
On September 10, close to 80 staff at the Bavarian International School (BIS) in Haimhausen, Germany held a warning strike in a dispute over wages, according to union members. BIS is an English-language, International Baccalaureate World School attended by roughly 1,000 students. It belongs to the Association for German International Schools and is a member of the Council of International Schools. Inflation in Bavaria increased by 19.1 percent from 2002 to 2014. BIS teachers report that their salaries have not, however, kept pace with the rising cost of living, despite increased school fees (up to €16,000 a year) and a steadily growing student body. Teachers are requesting a pay rise of 5.1 percent, which they say would be in line with inflation for the past three years. Many of those not exercising their right to industrial action were on limited contracts and/or within a six-month probation period. In a letter to TIE, union members stated: “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.” BIS is currently building a new multi-million-euro city campus due to open next year; teachers argue that their wages have consequently been frozen for years. The school has made four proposals but none has met the teachers’ satisfaction. Classes were cancelled for students in 11th and 12th grades during the teacher’s strike. More information about the dispute is available at: http://bisunion.weebly.com/
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