Administrative Staff Council

The Staff Council’s Responsibilities

The Staff Council is mainly responsible for the following two areas:

  • Representing employees‘ interests

  • Internal monitoring

Its sphere of action is limited to the overall interests of the respective organization, in our case WU.

The Staff Council is legitimized by the workforce through the Staff Council elections.

All matters that go beyond the operational sphere of activity, such as annual salary negotiations and consequently the continuous further development of salaries, are the union’s responsibility. In addition to the collective bargaining agreement, the University Union for University Personnel holds annual negotiations on the salaries of the employees of Austria’s 22 public universities with the National University Federation.

The main legal basis for the Staff Council’s activities is the Labor Relations Act (Arbeitsverfassungsgesetz) in addition to a number of other legal regulations, such as the Employee Protection Act (ArbeitnehmerInnenschutzgesetz), the Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz), etc.

In principle, staff councils are endowed with certain rights by law; these rights are beyond dispute in cases where staff councils are called upon to defend the rights of employees:

  • Right to request information: The proprietor, in this case the rector, is obligated to provide the Staff Council with information on issues concerning the organization upon request.

  • Right to be informed: The rector, as representative of the proprietor, is obligated to inform the Staff Council unprompted on matters like the collection of personal data.

  • The right to advise the rector: The rector is obligated to hear the Staff Council, just as the Staff Council is obligated to monitor the rector to ensure compliance with legal and in-house regulations.

  • The right of the Staff Council to approve or object: A transfer or change in position of an employee does not take legal effect until the Staff Council has given its approval, and is legally ineffective if the Staff Council lodges an objection.

  • The Staff Council is also entitled to the right of codetermination, which comes into effect when operational agreements are concluded.

The proprietor and the Staff Council may conclude operational agreements to regulate all matters relating to the workforce which are not regulated by law or by the collective bargaining agreement.

This means that in addition to the task of representing the interests and asserting the legally guaranteed rights of the employees, the Staff Council also has a monitoring function and is involved in defining WU’s regulatory framework. It goes without saying that one of the main responsibilities of a Staff Council is to regularly inform employees about its own activities and about in-house developments. The Staff Council’s activities depend not only on the broad support of the workforce, but also on a workforce that is well informed, aware of its rights, and willing to get involved.

The Staff Council acts autonomously and independently. It has the right – if the enforcement of applicable law is not otherwise possible – to appeal to the Labor Court.