Salary Regulations W

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The salary regulations W of the Federal Salary Act (BBesG) and the state salary laws regulate the remuneration for civil servant university teachers ( professors ) in Germany and encompass salary groups W 1 to W 3.It was introduced at the federal level in 2002 by an amendment to the Federal Salary Act as a replacement for the Federal Salary Regulations C. introduced. The letter "W" stands for science . The main characteristic here is the subdivision into a basic salary and performance-related allowances; this is intended to create an additional incentive for civil servants.

Since then, the countries of the federalism reform of 2006 , the legislative competence of the grade had received their own officials, who own national laws have adopted grade with pay regulations W. W2 and W3 positions are normally open-ended, but W1 positions ( junior professorships ) are not. As a result of a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court, the pay regulations were reformed in 2013, which in particular resulted in an increase in the W2 basic salary, which was initially criticized as being too low.


The basic salaries in the salary regulations W are lower than in the former federal salary regulations C and are independent of age, but can be increased by allowances (performance supplements) in the salary groups W 2 and W 3. The performance supplements are generally pensionable up to a maximum of 40 percent of the basic salary . Performance supplements can be granted up to a maximum total salary that corresponds to salary group B 10. In the case of salary groups W 2 and W 3, benefits may be added in the following cases:

  • on the occasion of appointment and stay negotiations;
  • for special achievements in research, teaching, further education, art and promotion of young talent;
  • for taking on functions in academic self-government (e.g. dean , prorector , etc.).

The real total salary of professors (basic salary and performance bonuses) in salary group W 3 is on average comparable to that of a professor in a salary group according to the federal salary regulation C. According to the Federal Statistical Office , the average real salary of a professor in salary group W 3 in 2015 was 8,000 euros per month (gross). The average real salary of professors in grade C 4 was also 8,000 euros per month. The German University Association therefore drew the conclusion that "the W3 salary has now leveled off at the C4 level". For professors in grade W 2, on the other hand, there was a significant decrease in comparison to grade C 3 (average basic salary of grade W 2 6200 euros, average salary of grade C 3 6600 euros). In 2018, the average real salary of professors in salary group W 3 across Germany was 8650 euros gross per month. The highest average salaries are paid in Bavaria, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia. Overall, there was no general reduction in the W salary regulations compared to the C federal salary regulations, as was feared by many commentators after 2002. However, there was a greater income spread between professors: between grades W 3 and W 2, between the federal states, but also within the group of professors in grade W 3.

The salary group W 1 is assigned to the temporary position of "professor as junior professor ". There are no benefits here, but the remuneration is increased after a positive interim evaluation.

Grade W 1

Basic salary: € 4,702.01 (from April 1, 2019: € ​​4847.30, from March 1, 2020: € 4898.68) non-pensionable allowance after a positive evaluation: € 260.

In addition, junior professors can be granted a special bonus of up to 10 percent of their basic salary when they are hired.

If provided by state law, junior professors can receive a research and teaching allowance.

Grades W 2 and W 3

The W2 and W3 salary consists of a basic salary that can be individually expanded to include performance-related bonuses. These grades are generally for unlimited tenured professors with and without chair provided:

In addition, the members of the university management are usually sorted into these salary groups, unless they are classified into salary regulations A or B by federal or state law:

Reactions and legal controversy after the introduction

The “W”, which actually stands for “science”, was sarcastically interpreted as “less” in relevant circles because the basic salaries are lower than the starting salaries of the formerly common C salary. Furthermore, the basic salaries of W1 and W2 were initially below those of A 13 from a certain age, although this corresponds to the starting salary of a student councilor at a German grammar school .

Bavarian professors, supported by the German Association of University Professors , filed the Bavarian Constitutional Court a civil suit against the measures adopted in connection with the federal law on the reform of professors' salaries new provisions of Bavarian law one. However, by judgment of July 28, 2008, the court essentially dismissed the action; In particular, even after the new regulations, a just adequate salary is ensured, according to the Munich judges.

A little later, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung drew attention to the above-mentioned unfavorable cross-comparisons between civil servant groups, which had arisen due to the new W salary, under the heading “Wirre Salaries”. As a first example, it was stated that a scientific assistant who is employed as an Academic Councilor with A 13 (possibly on a temporary basis) earned more than a W-2 professor without performance bonuses (basic salary € 3,890.03). A second example was a district judge who already achieved a higher salary than a W-2 professor without performance bonuses at the age of 39, although the university professor who trains the later judges and is doing his doctorate and habilitation himself is hardly younger than 39 years old can be when he takes up his position. The contribution led to the question of whether the university lecturer's remuneration was still appropriate for the office .

The Bonn geneticist Peter Propping , member of the National Ethics Council , made following this message in 2008 pointed out that the policy would facilitate his own words the immigration of "highly qualified" from abroad, using as a yardstick for the high qualification, a minimum salary of € 63,600 per year serve. Propping wrote that apparently a qualified W2 professor in politics is not considered to be a “highly qualified” person, and that the immigration of talented young people from abroad to a German university is apparently not desired. The Gießen social psychologist Stefan Hormuth , then DAAD president, wrote, however, that the “offers for W 2 professorships” at his university were “on average about as high” “as they used to be for C 3”.

In 2009, a Hessian W2 professor, also with the support of the German University Association, initially had success with a lawsuit before the Administrative Court of Giessen . This ruled that the W-salary was unconstitutional because it violated the constitutionally anchored alimentation principle. The core of the duty of alimentation is only preserved if the official salary is ensured solely through the fixed salary components. The basic salary to which the professor is paid according to salary group W 2 corresponds neither to the qualifications required by the office holder nor to his demands and responsibilities, nor to the importance and reputation of the office in the eyes of society. Ultimately, the court calculated, the comparison with other grades shows that the special quality of the work and the responsibility of university teaching staff resulting from the diverse and demanding tasks of universities in the field of research and teaching are not properly weighted. A professor in grade W 3 receives a lower fixed salary than a judge paid according to grade R 1; Even an academic director at a university is paid better from the 11th grade onwards and receives more pay in the final basic salary than a W3 professor who may be his superior. There is also a disproportion in relation to income that is obtained for comparable and on the basis of comparable training activities outside the public service. The administrative court therefore submitted the legal regulation to the Federal Constitutional Court to examine its constitutionality. The Federal Constitutional Court initially rejected the submission: it was inadmissible because the administrative court had issued the suspension and submission order without the involvement of the honorary judges and therefore not with the correct composition.

After the resubmission, the Federal Constitutional Court decided the matter on February 14, 2012. Thereafter, the basic idea of ​​a split into a regular basic salary and a performance-based component was not objected to. However, the court described the “basic salary rates” as evidently inadequate and did not see the promise of premiums as sufficient compensation for the structure that had been in effect until then. Therefore, the court ruled that the Hessian salary group W 2 violates the " alimentation principle of Art. 33 (5) GG and is therefore unconstitutional". The legislature was given the task of “making constitutional regulations with effect from January 1, 2013 at the latest”.

The judgment applies specifically to Hessen only; However, the established principles can be applied to all federal states. In December 2012, Hessen decided to reorganize the salaries of professors accordingly. On January 31, 2013, the Federal Cabinet then passed a draft law on the revision of the salary of professors, which was passed by the Bundestag in June 2013 and came into force on August 1. As a result, the basic salaries for grades W2 and W3 were significantly increased and three-tier experience times were introduced. At the same time, civil servants in registered partnerships were granted the family allowance with retroactive effect from August 1, 2001. The federal states followed suit and increased the basic salaries accordingly, but mostly waived the introduction of experience times.


Individual evidence

  1. Professors Salary Reform Act of February 16, 2002 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 686 )
  2. See detailed tables from the Federal Statistical Office in the "Research and Teaching" magazine of the German University Association, issue 2/2017, pp. 124, 125
  3. ^ "Research and Teaching" of the German Association of Universities, Issue 2/2017, p. 124.
  4. See detailed tables from the Federal Statistical Office in the "Research and Teaching" magazine of the German University Association, issue 1/2020, p. 34.
  5. Law of 8 November 2018 ( Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1810, 1816 )
  6. § 72 BBesG.
  7. Burkhard Müller: "W wie less: About badly paid professors" ( Memento of October 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), Süddeutsche Zeitung , February 6, 2013, reprinted in Research & Teaching , March 2013.
  8. BayVerfGH, decision of July 28, 2008; Az.Vf. 25-VII-05, full text. ( Memento from October 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  9. German University Association: Press release 10/2008 (PDF; 38 kB) of July 30, 2008.
  10. Confused pay. If the assistant earns more than the professor , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung No. 201 of August 28, 2008, p. 8 (for a fee).
  11. ^ High qualification , Letters to the Editors, FAZ No. 213 of September 11, 2008, p. 7, (subject to a charge; query on September 11, 2008).
  12. The old prejudices about professors ' salaries, letters to the editors, FAZ No. 214 of September 12, 2008, p. 11.
  13. Administrative court submits the regulation on the salary of professors to the Federal Constitutional Court for examination before press release of the administrative court Giessen on Az. 5 E 248/07; See also the Constitutional Court examines W-Besoldung , FAZ No. 5 of January 7, 2009, p. 4 and Manfred Hitzeroth, lawsuit by Marburger Professor in Karlsruhe , Oberhessische Presse of January 7, 2009, p. 1 and 3.
  14. BVerfG, decision of July 26, 2010 , Az. 2 BvL 21/08, full text.
  15. BVerfG, judgment of February 14, 2012 , Az. 2 BvL 4/10, full text.
  16. The W-salary put to the test: The Federal Constitutional Court decides on the appropriateness of the W-salary ( memento of May 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) on the University Teachers Association, accessed on July 6, 2011.
  17. BVerfG, press release No. 8/2012 of February 14, 2012 .
  18. Confederation regulates the salaries of professors. In: The staff council. Bund Verlag, accessed on October 11, 2014 .

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