RO Govt. to hit “union barons” in budgetary sector
Romania's Government will discontinue the procedure by which the public institutions in the budgetary sector automatically collect the trade union members' contributions each month, prime minister Florin Citu announced in an interview with G4Media.ro.
PM Citu argued that he didn't find it normal that people automatically have to contribute and that public sector employees who feel that the unions represent their interests should make an effort to pay these contributions by themselves.
The PM's announcement comes after several protests against the Government's decision to freeze wages and cut some of the extra benefits for public-sector employees.
Citu believes that the union protests show a lack of solidarity with the private sector employees, who didn't organize such protests, although over 1.4 million employees were sent to technical unemployment (and thus saw their incomes reduced) during the pandemic.
The default union contribution is a means of putting the employees in the budgetary sector under the control of the trade unions - which thus turn into supporters of the Executive that puts the money into their pockets, explained former education minister Daniel Funeriu (in the centre-right Government of prime minister Emil Boc) - who lost his seat in 2012 exactly because he discontinued the practice.
Funeriu says that all teachers in Romania pay 1% of their wages as mandatory union contribution, even those who are not affiliated with any union.
Thus, the unions in education get about EUR 20 mln each year, which they can spend however they want, with no control from any state authority.