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May 19, 2022

PM Ciolos to Iasi protesters: You cannot expect us to change in four months what was not changed in years

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Monday morning told about 30 teachers trade union members who were protesting at his presence in the city before the local Alexandru Ioan Cuza University that the incumbent government cannot solve in four months the problems that have been going on in the education system for years.

Upon arriving at the university for a meeting with nearly 50 MPs from Moldavia, Ciolos walked straight to the protesters, who handed him a list of grievances.

“We have drawn up [a list] what we meant as a Decalogue. We only managed to write down nine items, the most important of them, but we also have local problems in Iasi. We want to have a formal discussion with you, not in the streets and not under these circumstances,” said a unionist, who asked Ciolos if he ever finds time for education.

“I find a lot to time. (…) You cannot expect us in four months to change things that have not changed in years,” said Ciolos, adding that the schedule of his visit to Iasi was already set and that the protesters could talk with Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu.

The unionists also reproached Ciolos of meeting the MPs, saying that the MPs are only a part of Romania. “We also are your country. Your country is not made up of MPs only,” they said.

Ciolos told the protesters that the MPs are the ones elected by the people: “The MPs are your elected officials. You have voted them.”

About 30 USLIP Pre-University Free Trade Union members were protesting on Monday morning before the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, where PM Ciolos was to meet MPs from Moldavia.

USLIP Iasi leader Laviniu Lacusta told Agerpres that the pre-university teaching staff have decided to stage a protest to show their dissatisfaction with what they claim is the Ciolos Cabinet refusing to have a dialogue with them.

“We are here to warn the prime minister about the state of education. We are talking about pay inequities, unmet promises and the violation of law, if I were to mention just that, under the Education Law, 6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should have been earmarked to us,” said USLIP Iasi leader Laviniu Lacusta.

The pre-university staff unions are also dissatisfied with per student funding, which they argue is insufficient, as well as the failure to have the pay rights won in court served and the failure by mayors to disburse travel expenses for commuting teaching staff, because the law does not mention any penalties of mayors who fail to obey.

Prime Minister Ciolos was in Iasi to attend a discussion with Romania’s East region MPs. The meeting, also attended by Deputy Prime Ministers Vasile Dincu and Costin Borc as well as other members of the Government, focused on a motorway to link together the East and the West regions. Ciolos was also scheduled to attend the official opening of Culture Palace




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