TU Graz has endeavoured both currently and over the past years to create attractive possibilities which make life easier for mothers and fathers in job or studies. In summer 2016 the contributions to costs of the summer child care were lowered in order to make it easier for socially disadvantaged families. This was the first step which TU Graz was committed to in the context of signing up to the “Family at university” charter. The charter was signed by Vice-Rector Andrea Hoffmann in September and accepted by Barbara Herz and Lissa Reithofer, from the Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity, in Frankfurt. In doing so TU Graz is committed to fulfilling the standards laid down in the field of compatibility between job/studies and family.
Lowering costs for summer child care was the first step. In the framework to signing up to the agreement three goals have been set to improve compatibility of family and job/studies, and they have now been almost completely achieved. The second step recently put into action was the availability of game backpacks to be lent out at all three campuses. Children who have to come into the office with their parents for short times for all sorts of reasons can now while away the time with a game backpack. There are two kinds of backpack per campus: one is for children up to five years of age, and the other is aimed at children from six to ten years of age. The backpacks are full of games, books, educational games and painting materials.
The new game backpacks of TU Graz.
In choosing the games, an eye was kept on age-appropriateness, gender sensitivity and meaningfulness. In the Campus Alte Technik they can be picked up without complications or prior reservation and brought back later from the main library in Technikerstraße 4, in the Neue Technik in the porters’ lodge at Stremayrgasse 16, and in Inffeldgasse in the porters’ lodge at Inffeldgasse 25D. Flexible child care – there has been popular demand to increase the maximum weekly hours of flexible child care (FLEKI) at TU Graz from 15 hours. In coordination with Volkshilfe, this third goal in the “Family at University” charter has now been achieved. The maximum number of hours has been increased to 20 per week. This should help university staff and students with better compatibility between job/studies and child care in respect of meetings, conferences and courses. FLEKI is on the premises of the nanoversity at Petersgasse 136 and is a special child-care provision for TU Graz members. There are a variety of things to do for children in and around the building. A special parent learning and work room is also available where parents can work and play with their children. All the information for using FLEKI including the necessary information sheets is online in the Intranet TU4U or can be had from the child care representative Lissa Reithofer (email: l.reithofernoSpam@tugraz.at).
Although not a stated goal of the “Family at university” charter but no less attractive for staff and employees despite this, there are welcome packages for expectant parents through which TU Graz wants to support compatibility of job/studies and family and of course welcome the new family member. In the package, which also contains rompers and bibs with the TU Graz logo, there is lots of information material, such as the paternity leave brochure, the ZWEI UND MEHR (two and more) guide and a summary of many different family benefits in Styria. The welcome package can also be picked up from Lissa Reithofer if you give prior notice or it can even be brought directly to your workplace.