In some cases, classification by the university into salary level 15 may result in a lower income than what you had previously earned.
Example: An Emmy Noether applicant currently receives salary level 14, step 3. Following approval, the hiring institution declares its willingness to hire that person at salary level 15, but only at step 1. This would result in a lower income than what he/she had previously earned.
To understand this seemingly contradictory result, the systematics of the collective bargaining law must first be briefly explained. A distinction is made between salary levels and steps. The salary level is based on the activity to be performed, not on professional experience. More professional experience alone does not justify classification into a higher salary level. However, professional experience is taken into consideration within the scope of the salary steps. The more professional experience one acquires within the scope of a specific activity, the higher the classification in the respective level. There is some overlapping here. High step numbers in a lower salary level may result in more income than low step numbers in a higher salary level (as in the example). Thus, classification into a higher level as such does not necessarily lead to an immediate salary increase. However, the salary prospects are better with appropriate professional experience. To prevent a drop in salary despite classification into a higher level, the collective bargaining law stipulates that when classified into a higher level by the same employer, step classification is to be such that the salary does not decrease as a result. This "protective regulation" does not apply when changing employers.
In addition, professional experience can only be recognised if it directly relates to the activity to be performed. Professional experience acquired with a different employer is only taken into account if it is "relevant". Thus, professional experience acquired in one salary level is not necessarily professional experience for a higher salary level because here—considered abstractly—a different, higher-value activity is to be fulfilled for which one does not yet have any professional experience.
Thus, if you change to a different institution and are classified in a higher salary level, you are usually classified in the first step, since there is not yet any "relevant" professional experience in the spirit of the collective bargaining law. The hiring university determines whether the acquired professional experience is relevant in individual cases.
Section 16, paragraph 2, clause 6 of the TV-L (research) enables employers to individually consider non-relevant professional experience when determining the step classification if it "is beneficial to the designated activity". For leaders of independent junior research groups in the Emmy Noether Programme, this is often the case. This possibility, however, applies only to new hires for covering the staffing requirements. Here, too, the binding assessment of the hiring university applies.
In addition, TV-L (research) offers the possibility of awarding performance-based bonuses or awards.
We strongly recommend that you contact the hiring university as soon as possible with regard to your individual salary classification.