The “Network for Decent Labour in Academia”
Basic information about us in English
Basic information about us in English
The “Network for Decent Labour in Academia” is an open, transregional association of initiatives and individuals from mid-level academia across Germany. Being primarily the voice of mid-level scholars and employees and an advocacy of their interests, we nevertheless stand for decent working conditions in academia for all status groups. We fight for a comprehensive democratisation of universities and research institutions.
„For reasons only too well known to us, there is a lot of unrest at the mid-level in Germany's universities and research institutions. However, comprehensive organisation and networking of mid-level initiatives is still weak. Many local initiatives are working in isolation, lacking a structure that would interlink mid-level groups, faculty campaigns and voices in acute local conflicts so as to enable collective, transregional agency and impact on national politics. With this call, we want to begin the process of our networking. We hope to achieve at the very least a shared public agency (and public relations activities) as well as systematically increased options of coordinated campaigning, if not the ability to strike. At the same time, we expect cooperation with supportive faculty and students to considerably profit from a concerted mid-level academia that both gathers and multiplies its many voices.“
We being PhD candidates, post-docs, lecturers, project assistants, student employees and professors at German universities, are no longer willing to silently accept this situation. In 2017, we have therefore created the cross-faculty and nationwide ‚Network for Decent Labour on Academia‘ (NGAWiss). You can read our founding appeal here.
Two years after NGAWiss was founded we have already achieved quite a lot: we are currently facilitating and coordinating the network of a growing number of mid-level initiatives at universities, research institutions, academies and universities of applied sciences. We are initiating campaigns and reaching an increasingly large public. And the big Higher Education strike … will become ever more likely the more of you get involved! Please get in touch: mail[at]mittelbau.net.
For a discussion of the specific problems of casualisation in German academia as well as their implications for organising resistance, see the articles by our activists Britta Ohm (“Excellent Dequalification. The New Academic Precariat”) and Peter Ullrich (In Itself, But Not Yet For Itself – Organising the New Academic Precariat).
Do you want to become activists at your university, faculty or in your department? Are there critical minds, but no structures that adequately represent the mid-level faculty and your positions? You want to stand up for better working, study and teaching conditions? There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but our “short manual” for founding a local Mittelbau initiative provides tips and advice from practical experience, the field of political organising and materials for initial debates on content. Read it and let’s get started!
The network connects active groups and initiatives that engage in academic politics. There are member initiatives all over Germany (interactive map) that you can join. Not yet a local initiative? Then it’s time to start one – we are happy to support you with the network’s experience!
The Coordination Circle (Ko-Kreis for short) tries to keep everything together. Meeting place: Fridays in odd-numbered calendar weeks at 6 pm at the TU Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 16-18, seminar room of the CMS on the 1st floor. We are always happy to have reinforcements! You can also join us without being part of a local initiative.
The current meetings will take place in hybrid format, so if you are interested, please let us know by email (mail[at]mittelbau.net) and we will send you a Zoom invitation link. For those not living in Berlin, participation via video conference is possible.
If you want to be active in the network, you will have access to our working and communication platform, SLACK. There we will coordinate in working groups and on overlapping topics. If you are interested, please send us an mail[at]mittelbau.net with a short background on your own commitment.
The medium for everything that is really important is our newsletter (published approx. 1x/month). All those interested and active in our issues can and should register here:
We have compiled detailed positioning, strategic approaches and organising examples of the various initiatives in individual localities, universities or professional societies in the recommended reading section.
Please fill out the membership application and send it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can decide on the amount of the annual membership fee – as well as on the payment of the voluntary admission fee.
Donations (without membership) are of course also gladly accepted!
Bank account details:
Name: Netzwerk für Gute Arbeit in der Wissenschaft e.V.
IBAN: DE65 8306 5408 0005 2458 00
Bank: Deutsche Skatbank
Subject: Membership fee [FIRST NAME] [SURNAME] [DATE OF BIRTH]
The statutes of the Netzwerk für Gute Arbeit in der Wissenschaft e.V. are available here.
Our mail is email@example.com