Annual Report 2022

Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz AöR

"I never thought that crises could become routine, but 2022 has impressively proven the opposite."

Andreas Schülke - Managing Director Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz


Dear readers,

Last year, we all waited and hoped for something like professional normality to return to our working world, so that we could devote ourselves to operational and strategic challenges instead of always reacting to crises. But as it turns out, crises don't come alone. In 2022, having barely escaped the pandemic, we were confronted with the energy crisis and inflation as a result of the Ukraine war.

The right answers to the questions of the year.
Rising prices in the refectories and cafeterias, rising incidental rental costs in the halls of residence, only 19 degrees Celsius in our offices! It's nice for me to see that we've always found the right answers here last year too:
  • an honest and transparent communication with our food guests,
  • a successful energy-saving challenge in all our seven residence halls and
  • an office jumper extra with our team!
Everyone pulled together to take the sting out of the energy crisis. I can only thank all guests, tenants and my team for this.

What will the Studierendenwerk look like as an employer tomorrow?
Despite all this, it became clear to me that professional normality is no longer the same as it was before the pandemic and that we as the Studierendenwerk have to reposition ourselves if we want to remain an attractive and sought-after employer in the future.

We have to work on ourselves, on a number of issues relating to employer attractiveness and have done so in 2022. In terms of business management, we have cleared the way for the introduction of mobile working at the Studierendenwerk. Through the increased use of cloud services, my team should be able to work in such a way in the future that the highest possible work-life balance is achieved. We want to present ourselves as a modern employer. We are already working on the corresponding service agreements, but the technical implementation will take some time.

On other issues, we urgently need support from collective agreement. Here I have to state quite clearly: The Studierendenwerk is losing more and more ground on the labour market in the race for new staff. The tight corset of the collective agreement of the federal states leaves us no meaningful room for manoeuvre when it comes to hiring new staff. In my opinion, the changed realities on the current labour market have not yet been reflected in the collective agreement.

After the pandemic, energy crisis and inflation, is the staffing crisis now coming?
This concern is clearly reflected in all the reports from our specialist departments in this annual report. And I myself also notice in job interviews that we are running out of good arguments why we should be the right employer. Here is my very clear request to our partners negotiating the collective agreement of the federal states: knock the cobwebs out of the collective agreement as soon as possible and adapt it to the modern, current world of work! The post-pandemic world of work has changed and will continue to do so. This must also be reflected in our collective agreement and the possibilities it contains.
Otherwise, we really are threatened with the next crisis - a lasting staff crisis - especially among catering staff and day-care centre specialists. The complete closure of a smaller refectory due to a lack of staff for the whole of 2022, despite the greatest financial, communicative and creative efforts in the search for personnel, proves that. But it is also becoming increasingly difficult to fill management positions in administration or IT with our collective bargaining offers.

Universities are also still working on the consequences of the pandemic.
Our university partners are not yet back to their old strength. Of course, I very much hope that the universities will return to what they once were: Places of excellent teaching and places of socialisation. The currently observable three-day study from Tuesday to Thursday gives me a bit of a headache as far as socialisation is concerned. But I hope that here, too, we will only feel temporary aftershocks of the pandemic and that things will settle down again sooner or later. Of course, we would prefer it to be sooner rather than later, because empty halls of residence and refectories with a maximum capacity utilisation of 70% are not good prospects for the future.

But no matter what the year 2022 was like, one thing was always certain to me: the good cooperation in our network and with our board of directors, to whom I would like to express my sincere thanks for their support. And also to my team, which has always responded to the crisis-like reality we found with a great deal of commitment, creativity and resilience.

I wish you an entertaining and informative read and am available to answer your questions.

Yours, Andreas Schülke
Managing Director Studierendenwerk Vorderpfalz

Your contact
Andreas Schülke
Managing Director
Xylanderstraße 17
76829 Landau
Phone.: +49 6341 9179 102