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January 21, 2022

More than 100 public environment workers protesting before Environment Ministry

More than 100 employees of the Ministry of the Environment, Waters and Forestry (MMAP), the National Environmental Guard (GNM) and the National Environmental Protection Agency (ANPM) have protested on Wednesday before the Environmental Ministry for higher pay and the resignation of Environmental Minister Cristiana Pasca Palmer.

“I understand [the protesters] very well; this is a real problem I noticed when I took over as environment minister. Wages at the Environment Ministry are extremely low, and that is why our specialists leave us. I understand the people and their frustration, but as you know we are currently working at the Government on balancing the situation. The gendarmes suggested me that I should avoid the protesters. I told the protesters that I want to meet them. I will have a brief meeting with a delegation of them. Regulating the financial state of wages cannot be done at the Environment Ministry. I have not missed any occasion to bring the issue up to the attention of my colleagues in the Government. This emergency ordinance tries to reset the balance. We are working on its draft. We try to make the ordinance we approve at the Government iron out some of the pay discrepancies. There are very many technical details. At least the first draft of the ordinance provides for pay increases by up to 45 percent. I will discuss with the human resources department to see what solutions they can find. We have analysed several versions, including a draft ordinance and some internal document, about which I cannot say anything yet. I know their situation, it is a delicate one,” Pasca Palmer told a news conference, according to Agerpres.

The protesters are shouting against the Government and the management of the Environment Ministry, brandishing placards reading “We want decent wages” and “We do not want to beg,” “Shame to the Government,” “Shame to the Environmental Ministry,” “Resign!” (photo: hotnews.ro)

The protesting environmental workers say the wages they draw starts at 900 lei before taxes a month, with department chiefs drawing 2,000 lei, at the most, which they say is “unacceptable and shameful.”

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