An uncertain future plagues the senior citizens' meeting and education center in Kubiz. © Mbe
For the outgoing head behind the open work with senior citizens, the municipality of Unterhaching has still not found a successor. This is now worrying some.
Unterhaching – Where is open work with senior citizens heading in Unterhaching? After Erdmute Albat, head of the senior citizens' meeting and education center in Kubiz for 30 years, surprisingly resigned in March on September 30, 2023, there is still no successor solution in sight. How could they? Because two and a half months later, the municipality has still not advertised this important position.
"This groundbreaking social work runs the risk that it will not continue," warns Claudia Köhler, member of the state parliament and municipal council member of the Greens. She reports of "worried seniors who call me" and sees an "attack on the Kubiz" because the all-day care of students is to be given priority over work with the elderly. "The seniors don't move until it's too late," says Köhler, explaining why she's already putting her finger in the wound. It is not enough to "fob off elderly people in need of help with a chicken voucher for the citizens' festival".
Fear: "In the longer term, work with the elderly will be discontinued"
Around 7000 people in the 60-plus age group take advantage of the wide range of low-threshold work with senior citizens, from excursions to lunch and driving services. The fact that nothing has happened since Erdmute Albat's dismissal irritates not only Köhler. A Unterhaching resident, for example, expresses his astonishment at the personnel policy of the town hall in an e-mail to the Münchner Merkur: "How is a replacement supposed to work if there is still no advertisement for this position? Where there is no will, there is no way." His fear: "In the long term, the work with senior citizens in Unterhaching will be discontinued."
That would be "dramatic", says Claudia Köhler. Her Green faction had already pointed out the triad of personnel problems in the municipal council in April. Firstly, that the succession of Erdmute Albat must be arranged as a matter of urgency; "One to two months of overlap as a training period also has something to do with respect for Ms. Albat's decades of work," says Köhler. Secondly, due to staffing, the transport service had to be reduced, which elderly seniors can use free of charge for doctor's visits or shopping – according to Köhler, "there are hundreds of unfulfilled inquiries in the Kubiz". And thirdly, the "Needed" program, in which seniors volunteer to practice reading with about 150 children per week, is on the brink of collapse because there is no organizational management for it due to a dismissal. "The fact that so many people are quitting in the town hall," Claudia Köhler muses, "has become like a contagious disease."
Municipality does not want "a quick run"
City Hall spokesman Simon Hötzl says when asked that they do not comment on personnel matters in principle. "But working with the elderly is a mandatory task of the municipality – we are guaranteed not to do anything that jeopardizes the high quality of the previous work with the elderly." Why is Erdmute Albat's management position still not advertised two and a half months after the 59-year-old's resignation? "After 30 years, we don't want to fill this important position without thinking," explains Hötzl. "We don't want to make a hasty decision, but take a 360-degree look at work with the elderly in order to lead them into a good future and possibly rethink their approach."
Erdmute Albat herself, who will be 60 years old in a few days, is waiting to be able to train her successor – if there was anyone. "It's a social pedagogue position and it has to be one. There are currently six comparable positions in the district," says the outgoing head of senior citizens' work. The fact that this "doesn't go down the drain is a matter close to my heart and the whole team".
After two and a half months, she doesn't understand the quick-fix argument any more than she understands the idea of restructuring the work with the elderly: "Why should a super-functioning system be changed?" She was "very worried about what will happen next". Not only them.
More news from Unterhaching and the district of Munich can be found here.