To ensure that the shop steward or the union’s legal counsel has enough time to act in your case, you should preferably meet with them several months before the end of your employment relationship. This is particularly true if a long chain of fixed-term employment, which has stretched over several years, is coming to an end.
The end of the year is a very typical time for the termination of fixed-term employment contract. Unfortunately, it is very challenging to begin negotiating and discussing such matters with the employer in late December.
Please contact your local shop steward or the union’s legal counsel as far in advance as possible so that we can assess your case and jointly determine how to proceed.
For the shop steward to conduct negotiations with the employer about making your employment relationship permanent, it is important to initiate the process well before the end of the employment relationship. Even if it is possible to handle your case after the end of your employment relationship, matters related to fixed-term employment should preferably be handled earlier rather than later.
Similar to other legal issues, fixed-term questions are always handled in mutual agreement with you, and you can interrupt the process at any time, should you wish to do so. The matter will not be handled without your knowledge, and the process will continue only as far as you wish.
If you are not yet sure whether your employment relationship will continue in January, please take this up in time. If you are promised an extension to your employment relationship, request a written employment contract from your employer well in advance. Unfortunately, oral statements regarding the future of employment relationships cannot be fully relied on. Although an oral agreement is binding, it is often very difficult to prove.
If your fixed-term employment contract has been made until the end of December, and the employment relationship is to continue for another fixed-term period, it would be good to get the written contract for review by the beginning of December, at the latest. Since your supervisor as well as the university administration usually begin their Christmas holiday a couple of weeks before the end of the year, you should not leave the matter until the last minute. Don’t hesitate to request a written employment contract if there is no sign of one.