€3900 professor salary unconstitutional

Nieuws | de redactie
14 februari 2012 | The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that a base pay of around €3900 for university professors is unconstitutional. Its president Andreas Voßkuhle criticized that some professors would “earn only as much as a senior civil servant or an advanced high school teacher.”

In 2005, Germany reformed regulations surrounding the pay ofuniversities professors. Goal was to incentivize them withperformance related pay schemes that rewarded producing outstandingresults in research and teaching or taking on additionalresponsibilities at university.

The base pay was set to €3890,03 which would be complementedwith performance bonuses. Before that, the fixed salary componentwas around 25% higher and grew over certain time intervals. Withthe new rules universities have greater leeway in attracting topresearchers with higher powered incentive schemes.

Cannibalization of salaries from youngerprofessors

This, however, led to a “cannibalization of the salaries ofjunior professors”, Andreas Voßkuhle, president of the FederalConstitutional Court of Germany, criticized. Without performancebonuses a university professor would: “earn only as much as asenior civil servant or an advanced high school teacher.”

A speaker of the German Association of University Professors andLecturers commented: “We believe that the base pay of professorsneeds to be set according to the responsibility they have, how longit takes them to habilitate and the high status they have in oursociety.”

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