Romanian teachers' strike puts on hold rotation of ruling coalition
More than 150,000 Romanian teachers (of just over 200,000) and 70,000 support staff will participate in the strike announced for May 22 by the federation of trade unions in the public education system.
In this context, Social Democrat President Marcel Ciolacu wrote on Facebook on May 20 that political negotiations for the future government "must be suspended" until the teachers' strike and the reform of special pensions are resolved.
The latter means the new government, following the "rotation" of the ruling parties, would be indefinitely postponed. This is understandable as Ciolacu couldn't be happy to inherit two hot potatoes at the same time instead of the Liberal leader Nicolae Ciuca.
The teachers' representatives rejected the government's offer consisting of bonuses of RON 1,000 (EUR 200) each, offered twice a year, for entry-level employees, Digi24 reported.
The teachers' wages are comparatively small, but this is not the whole part of the story. The system was kept unreformed by the joint interests of the politicians and trade unions. The performance of the Romanian educational system is decreasing each year amid a lack of competition and virtually no independent evaluation of individual teachers' performance.
The Educated Romania flagship project of President Klaus Iohannis, drafted and repeatedly amended over the past decade – never subject to genuine public debate – fails to provide answers or implement reforms, according to experts.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)