Every day, the Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau provides the students, employees and also guests of the Chemnitz University of Technology and the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences Zwickau in the university catering facilities with a high-quality, balanced and varied range of offers. It is always our claim to integrate as many fresh, regional and seasonal components as possible, to offer an appealing selection for meat lovers as well as vegetarians and vegans and to adjust the prices to the student budget at any time. New menu items should enrich the menu as well as traditional ones.
Despite constantly rising food purchase prices and operating costs, we have been able to keep the semester fees stable since 2017. However, in order to continue to cover our costs in the future, we will have to take a package of measures from January 2021 onwards, which is now unavoidable, in order to avoid a threatening shortfall in the area of university catering. The main reason for this is the decline in the number of students liable to pay contributions by more than 1,000 since the winter semester 2018/2019, coupled with wage increases and step increases in the personnel area as set out in the collective bargaining agreement, as well as the cost increases already mentioned. Likewise, due to the annual average growth rate of 3.91 percent, the subsidies for infrastructure maintenance costs provided by the Free State of Saxony are no longer sufficient to fully cover these costs. We registered the €171,000 increase in the subsidy requirement for 2021 with the SMWK accordingly. Because without this the reproaching of the real estates, which belong to large parts to the Free State, would go by further necessary price and/or contribution increases or restrictions of the offer additionally debited to the students and mensa guests.
Together with the student members of our Administrative Board and the Chairman of the Administrative Board, we have agreed on a large package of measures and last week the Administrative Board passed a resolution to this effect. In this context, the student members spoke out in favor of retaining the student meal prices and in return for an increase in the semester fee. Accordingly, the university gastromonic fee will be increased by 6.80 € per semester from the summer semester 2021. At the same time, from January 1, 2021, we will increase the prices for staff and guests in the refectories and cafeterias by about 0.20 to 0.30 € per meal. Thus, all user groups will contribute equally to the increased financing costs.
In order to prevent the increase in semester fees and meal prices from being even higher, and against the background of the significant drop in student numbers, the opening hours will be shortened somewhat in relation to normal operations. All facilities will then generally be open until 13:30 during lunchtime. In the mensa Reichenhainer Straße in Chemnitz there will be one meal less in the lunch offer, the dinner is then possible until 19:30 o'clock. The coffee bar at the ZHSG in Chemnitz will not be reopened until further notice. With these measures to reduce very low-revenue operating periods, we can achieve savings in the area of personnel costs of €240,000 for 2021.
Another change that we will implement on January 1, 2021, is the introduction of a price system in the cafeterias that is differentiated according to the 3 levels - students, staff, guests. This change is based on the recommendations of the State Audit Office regarding the standardization of the pricing system in the student services and the differentiation of prices according to user groups and is a prerequisite for the implementation of the increase in staff and guest prices in the cafeterias.
A further change will take place during the first quarter of 2021 in the Reichenhainer Straße cafeteria with regard to the billing of the salad bar. In our opinion, the fixed price system there with bowls, small and large plates has not proved to be successful and repeatedly leads to criticism from guests. Therefore we will introduce, as in the cafeteria and in the Zwickau facilities, the billing according to weight and thus allow you the desired more flexible offer.
We hope that we will soon be able to overcome the currently very difficult economic situation and welcome you all as our guests again in the context of a regular mensa operation. Stay healthy and get through this undoubtedly very challenging time for all of us!
Your Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau