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Education unions threaten to block academic year. Minister assures there's money for salaries

de Alina Neagu, transl/adapt. C.B.     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 10 martie 2010, 17:31 Actualitate

Romanian education unions are determined to continue their protests, which could lead to blocking the academic year and national exams if Education Ministry doesn't find solutions to solve salary issues and redundancies unions members say, according to Romanian news agency Mediafax. Minister Daniel Funeriu said there were necessary funds for salaries and pensions.

Leaders of the four union federations in Education met the Education minister on Wednesday, March 10. Despite discussions going on for 3 hours, union members came out unsatisfied.

FSLI announced that affiliated professors will go on a warning strike during May 5-13. In June, they will be part of a referendum addressing the general strike issue. Protests are scheduled country-wide from May 1-15.

"There will be protests. We're thinking to block the exam and even the academic year, as we have never done it before, but the situation is very serious. The salaries are reduced and we don't know what surprises the new education law reserves, because it has not been discussed with us. Moreover, the Ministry's leadership said we would found out about it after the Government will have approved it", Spiru Haret Federation Gheorghe Isvoranu declared.

In his turn, National Education federation general secretary Constantin Ciosu said after the meeting that there's a need for a social protection programme for those to be laid off on September 1, like in the case of National railway staff: "The system will lose 30-35% of its employees on September 1 and we need them to get compensatory incomes".

Constantin Ciosu added that he asked the Education minister to elaborate an emergency ordinance granting all teachers the salary increases entailed by the 221/2008 Law, and not only to those who won this right in court.

"There are tens of trials won in court by teachers and they need to get their salary rights according to Law 221/2008. I asked the minister to put together a governmental decision, like it happened in 2001, for the court decisions to be generalised for all academic staff. There is a precedent, therefore it's legal."

The National Education Federation general secretary adds that in February all teachers got their salaries, but the money has been taken from the third and fourth quarter. Therefore, in those periods problems might occur again.

Free Academic Unions Federation secretary general Liviu Pop claims that there is a lack of communication between academic sectors and unions and the Wednesday meeting with the Education minister does not change the situation in the system: "On September 15 there will be 15,000 less jobs and funds - much diminished", Liviu Pop said.

"Alma Mater" Unions Federation president Anton Hadar indicated that he requested the Education minister to approve to un-block the jobs in the university sector in order to promote high education to young people. Plus, he asked for a meeting of Education Ministry and Work Ministry reps with he unions since he claims no one knows what benefits, salary rights and social benefits are.
























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