Romanian teachers confirm general strike on May 22
The Federation of trade unions in Romanian schools (FSLI) announced that it failed to reach an agreement with the government on May 17, and therefore the general strike will begin as announced on May 22.
FSLI brings together 145,000 out of Romania's 215,000 teachers, and "over 100,000" will go on strike, FSLI announced, according to G4media.ro.
FSLI seeks to set the entry-level wages for teachers at the economy-wide level (over EUR 800 per month, currently) and also wants a mechanism to index the wages to inflation and bonuses such as those paid elsewhere in the budgetary system.
Currently, the entry-level salary for teachers in Romania is around EUR 500 per month. However, private schools pay teachers between EUR 480 and EUR 550 per month as well, according to Ziarul Financiar quoting BestJobs data.
President Klaus Iohannis, himself a former teacher, who sees his initiative Educated Romania sinking amid the protests, stepped in favour of teachers.
"Teachers' demands for salary increases are justified, if we want a competitive system, we have to pay teachers [well]," Iohannis said when asked about the general strike announced by the trade unions, Edupedu.ro reported.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Bogdan-Ioan Buda)