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October 31, 2020

Teachers’ salary hike demand postponed by Gov’t

Teachers asked the Government for salary hikes on Monday, the negotiations taking place at the Victoria Palace between the Premier, the Finance, Education and Labour ministers and trade union representatives. The teachers want the same salary hike obtained by doctors, namely 25 per cent. The doctors’ salary hike will come into force on October 1.
“We assumed and reiterated the fact that education and health are priority domains, including from the standpoint of salary levels. Early next year we will identify solutions in order for the education system salaries to be similar to those in the health system. Several timetables and percentages have been proposed. The exact percentages or timetable elements will be established on September 15. Until then we are waiting to see the salary law, the Fiscal Code,” Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu stated after talks with the trade unions.
Trade union representatives stated that Monday’s meeting should not have taken place but they requested it because the Government made “a series of errors.”
“This meeting should not have taken place if things had gone normally and salary hikes had taken place in stages for the whole public sector. But the first mistake the Government made was to hike the dignitaries’ indemnities, then the hike for the members of Government followed, now for the health system. We expected the salary law to be applied at the same time for everyone, but things went haywire,” Simion Hancescu, President of the Education System’s Free Trade Unions’ Federation (FSLI), stated for Realitatea TV.
At the same time, Hancescu reiterated that according to an agreement signed by education system trade unions and the government in 2014, the salaries should have risen by 34 per cent by 2017.
“We were not against the hiking of health system salaries, because it’s fair for doctors to have higher incomes, but it was fair for things to be done as a package, even if the salary hike would have been lower percentage-wise in the education system. It wouldn’t have been a problem. We want to ask the Premier what is going on with the salary law, we want to know exactly when it will come into force,” Hancescu stated.
Moreover, Hancescu pointed out that the trade unions, along with Minister Sorin Cimpeanu, came up with a series of proposals to modify the draft salary law presented by the Labour Ministry.
“The hiking initially stipulated for the education system stood at 60 per cent. We rethought our chart a bit, hiking salaries for debutants, because everyone complains that they no longer want to work in the education system. (…) What we proposed represented an extra 10 per cent, namely a salary hike of 70 per cent in the pre-university system and higher in the university system,” Hancescu explained.
“Our request is to be able to receive a 10-15 per cent hike, possibly for a first tranche of the salary law to be applicable this year. A fair solution that would not generate imbalances and dissatisfaction should be found,” the FSLI leader pointed out.
Before the negotiations, Simion Hancescu stated that if the Government gives a negative answer then trade union leaders will inform trade union members and the latter will decide what to do, with protests most likely set to take place given the degree of dissatisfaction.
FSLI pointed out that at this moment the gross salary at national level is RON 1,050, while a debutant teacher’s gross salary is RON 1,115 (net salary of RON 780), and a debutant professor’s gross salary is RON 1,133 (net salary of RON 830). After the 5 per cent hike entailed by Government Emergency Ordinance no.83/2014, a hike set to come into force on September 1, those salaries would reach RON 1,170 (RON 857 net salary) and RON 1,189 (RON 871 net salary) respectively.
The trade union federation also pointed out that, according to the Government’s decision, starting on 1 January 2016 the minimum salary will be RON 1,200.
“In these conditions, it is absolutely necessary for the Government to find solutions for a supplementary education system salary hike of at least 15 per cent over and above the one stipulated by law, so that the salary earned by a teacher or professor should be similar to the one earned by an unskilled worker. Thus, a debutant teacher would reach a gross salary of RON 1,345, while a debutant professor would reach a gross salary of RON 1,367, which is slightly higher than the gross minimum salary,” FSLI representatives stated.

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