Teachers’ strike to go on. Trade unions say the Gov’t offer not enough

Thousands of teacher protest in the street. We asked for a 25% salary increase. Until we have a decision, the strike continues

Latest news: The education unions are not giving up even after Thursday night’s government meeting: the strike and protests continue until the Government decides to increase salaries. Union leaders announced that they had “very clearly” demanded a 25% pay rise for all education staff: “It is in their interest to come up with an answer as soon as possible if they want the strike to end”.

A new government meeting is scheduled for Friday, from which unions expect a clear decision, according to union leaders.

PM Ciucă: I cannot promise them now and I will never promise what cannot be achieved

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă stated, on Thursday, in Cluj-Napoca, that he will never promise teachers something that cannot be achieved. The prime minister showed his readiness for dialogue, but appealed to those involved “to understand the context in which we find ourselves”.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă was asked, on Thursday, in Cluj-Napoca, about the procedures regarding the rotary, which could be postponed considering the teachers’ strike, and he said: “It depends on all of us and it depends on understanding the situation and the context in which we we find out. From the very beginning of this protest action by the unions in Education, we sought to demonstrate that we understand and that, indeed, the teachers in Romania (…) deserve our gratitude and to be placed on the salary scale where we have assumed (…) that it must be”.

“I asked and I continue to ask them, I appeal to them to understand not to push us to make the same mistakes that have been made in these 30 years”, said the prime minister, who discussed the advancement of the procedures for the elaboration of the salary law. “At this moment, I am asking them once again, sincerely and honestly (…) I cannot promise them now and I will never promise what cannot be achieved. I will never do something that I think is wrong”, the prime minister also stated, stating that in a month and a half the situation could be resolved.


The leaders of the Education unions had said, after the negotiations with the Government on Wednesday evening, that the general strike will continue on Thursday and that the first messages coming from the teachers are to reject the offer proposed by the governors. The executive wants to offer teachers sums of money in June and October: 1,000 lei and 1,500 lei, respectively.

Union leaders said in response to the government’s offer of a 2,500 lei card in lieu of salary increases that the first messages coming from affiliated teachers were to reject the offer, but a final response would be given on Thursday . “We have already received signals from our colleagues in the country, the information is circulating, the messages are clear, the general strike continues, but officially, because absolutely all members must be consulted, tomorrow, by 12:00, we will communicate to the official Government what our position is “, said Simion Hăncescu, FSLI leader.

In his turn, Marius Nistor, the president of the “Spiru Haret” Federation, stated that an answer will be provided on Thursday. “Let’s let the colleagues decide on the Government’s offer that arrives tonight in every school unit in Romania and by tomorrow they will give an answer to this offer. Tomorrow will be the general strike. And there will be a very clear answer for the Executive”, he said.

Anton Hadăr, leader of the National Trade Union Federation “Alma Mater”, stated that, in his opinion, “it is a step forward compared to yesterday’s situation”. “I don’t know if it is a sufficient step. We are on a knife’s edge. A conclusion cannot yet be drawn today. One part would like to continue the protest, another part…”, said Hadăr.

Hancescu interrupted Hadar, saying that he probably refers to the higher education sector.

“I said very clearly, the messages that have come so far are for the rejection of this offer, let’s be very clear, we’ll see by tomorrow when we collect everything that the consultation means”, Hăncescu added.

The Secretary General of the Government, Marian Neacșu, declared, on Wednesday evening, at the end of the negotiations that the Government had with the Federation of Free Trade Unions in Education (FSLI), that at this moment “there can be no question of a salary increase” for teachers , who are on strike, but said that the Executive proposed giving them sums of money in June and October: 1,000 lei and 1,500 lei, respectively.

The spokesperson of the Government, Dan Cărbunaru, stated that teachers’ salaries will increase when the salary law is finalized and that until then, the Government maintains its offer of premium cards. “We want to increase salaries in education”, emphasized Cărbunaru.

Meanwhile, thousands of teachers joined the rally scheduled in Victoriei Square, in front of the Gov’t building today, with trade union leaders reiterating they won’t accept the Executive’s offer, as it is offending.

“We have decided to give the Government an answer to the offer submitted last night. Even today, the thousands of colleagues from Bucharest and the country say a resolute NO to this offer,” said Marius Nistor, the president of the “Spiru Haret” Federation, attending the protest in Victoriei Square.

According to the trade unionists, “the strike is no longer tied to this moment of wage demands”. “It is a strike for dignity, for the social status of those who work in the education system, it is a strike for respect”, the union leader also declared.

“We want a country where we do not accept humiliation from those who drive. Everything that happens next, I mean the exams, is the responsibility of the government. They must come up with an offer that will be accepted by our colleagues. If they do not come, the protest action will continue. Until there is a fair and decent solution, the colleagues will not give up the protest. I am not talking about freezing the school year, they will decide whether the protest is suspended or not. The strike continues. The offer sent today is last night’s offer. The grievances are real, it’s an offensive offer,” further said the trade unionist, who added that each participant in the protest will place an ax in the square with the message: “If you don’t have solutions, resign,” referring to members of the government.

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