Call for a solidarity alliance to fight the austerity measures threatening culture, education and social affairs

Munich rightly identifies itself as a capital of culture and is proud to occupy a premiere position in the European creative industries — it is a city with outstanding cultural and educational institutions whose mission is to strengthen social cohesion and improve the quality of life for all its citizens.

This makes it all the more alarming that the state capital of Munich is planning drastic, long-term cuts in the funding of culture, education and social affairs. This planned policy jeopardises Munich’s significance as a city of culture and education and sends exactly the wrong political signal at the wrong time.

The value of education, culture and social cohesion has been made dramatically clear to us all, particularly during the time of the pandemic. We have all suffered from isolation and the lack of communication and educational and cultural opportunities, and this is especially the case for children and young people. We must now invest in our educational, social and cultural provision to safeguard the social wellbeing of our urban society.

The city council meeting on 28 July 2021 will adopt the business plan for the 21/22 seasons of the Otto Falckenberg Schule educational institution, the Münchner Kammerspiele and the Schauburg – Theater for Young Audiences (all three of which make up the owner-operated municipal enterprise of the Münchner Kammerspiele). The meeting’s agenda envisages not providing any budget to increase the pay rates agreed in the 2020 wage settlement. This is an ominous sign that the Münchner Kammerspiele will be the first to suffer from yet another austerity budget which will be drawn up at the expense of education, social affairs and culture – it is a fatal signal for the cultural landscape across Germany.

In the context of the current preliminary discussions regarding the 2022 budget, in addition to not providing a budget for agreed pay-rate increases, blanket cuts of up to 8.5 percent across the board are also being discussed. As an example to illustrate the consequences of this measure, the Münchner Kammerspiele company could only achieve such savings by eliminating all independent artistic resources or by cutting 60 jobs – one sixth of its workforce. Both actions would cause irreversible damage to the company’s organisational structure and would see the lasting destruction of decades of investment.

We need to create a reliable alliance to strengthen and secure culture, education and social affairs, one in which the politicians take on responsibility and act with foresight.

We call for the areas of culture, education and social affairs in the state capital of Munich to form an alliance to prevent them from being played off against each other!

Please sign and share this petition so that, together, we can prevent the city council from taking these far-ranging austerity measures this autumn.

Munich, 22 July 2021

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