New public wage draft favors health staff, teachers and public servants threaten with protests

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PM Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday presented the new revised emergency ordinance draft on the public wage, arguing it will correct the inequities related to the payment and framing for similar positions. The draft mainly stipulates wage rises in the healthcare system, the premier arguing the increase in this field is a priority.

However, the new priority displeased the education and public servant trade unions, which threatened with protests if they were not going to get pay rises as well.

The full restructuring of the pay system in the healthcare system and the introduction of a bonuses system based on reform and performance standards for the healthcare and education staff starting January 2017 are the main amendments brought to the public salary law.

The budgetary impact mounts to RON 2.29 billion, with about RON 1.2 bln being allotted to correct injustices and around RON 1.02 billion for the healthcare reform.

PM Ciolos underlined that no salary will be cut, but instead pay rises will prevail only in certain fields, with the healthcare as the top priority.

Ciolos explained that, despite certain interpretations, Education is important, too, but the Government must consider what can be done, the budgetary allocations made these year and estimations for the next year.

As expected, the education trade unions voiced their discontent against the emergency ordinance draft’s content, arguing there is no improvement compared to the previous draft and there are no extra money allotted.

Practically, the university education gets zero. We should let the Government bring instructors to lecture, to see who will still hire any person on a salary of taxable RON 1,700. We don’t support the ordinance draft. There is no pay rise, no improvement. We are totally discontent. We thought the minister would be more rational. They say it’s the healthcare’s turn and we have to wait,” Alma Mater leader Anton Hadar said.

The teachers also consider staging mass protests.

In retort, Labour minister Dragos Pislaru says that the Education trade unions is not that they earn nothing, but that the healthcare staff is earning more.

Public administration trade unions also threatened to stage protests and to boycott the local elections following their discontent for the current draft.

The lowest salaries are probably in the local public administration, there are people with higher education and seniority earning a net salary of RON 1,600-1,700. Our question is if they still want people working in the system or if they want them out,” said Pompiliu Buzduga, vice-president of the FORUM trade union. He also slammed the decision that ministers and other dignitaries to have their wages increased up by 70 %.

The Government withdrew the emergency ordinance draft on public wages in mid-April, arguing that its goal is to table a draft accepted by the social partners. A day after the withdrawal, the Labour minister Ana Costea resigned, after she had opposed the draft.

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