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Public sector trade unions voice grievances

The salary increases promised by the Romanian government are not enough, public sector employees say

Hundreds of museum and library employees protested on the European Night of Museums (Credits: Facebook / CulturMedia)
Hundreds of museum and library employees protested on the European Night of Museums (Credits: Facebook / CulturMedia)

, 23.05.2024, 13:50

The Labor Ministry in Bucharest has submitted to public debate a draft law that provides for a 10% increase in the salaries of certain public sector workers this year in two installments, June and September respectively. According to the bill, employees of cultural institutions and the Trade Registry, diplomats, defense workers, as well as those from city halls and institutions on the payroll of the Government and Parliament, are to receive higher salaries. The staff of county agencies for environmental protection and the agency for environmental protection of the municipality of Bucharest are also expected to benefit from increases. The impact on the state budget is estimated at over 200 mln EUR, an amount that should be obtained through restructuring and the reduction of spending on goods and services. For the first time, the head of the PSD-PNL coalition Cabinet, Social-Democrat leader Marcel Ciolacu, said the Government cannot afford to grant a bigger increase, in line with an analysis conducted by the Finance Ministry. A 10% salary increase is also expected to be granted to museum employees or those in the government’s structures. The latter reacted negatively to the government’s proposal, in addition to employees of the environmental agencies.

 

 

Environmental workers from Bacău (east) and Mehedinţi (southwest) counties protested for several hours on Wednesday, calling for the alignment of salaries in the territory with those in the center, as well as a 20% pay rise. Protesters accused the government of promoting a discriminatory salary policy that does not take into account their real needs. Unless inequities are eliminated, more radical forms of protest will follow, including suspending the issuance of permits for large projects, such as those involving national or European funds, environmental workers have warned. Employees of the Caraş-Severin County National Archives Service (southwest) also organized a spontaneous protest at the start of the week, criticizing the salary inequities between county and central services. The protest consisted in the termination of the activity and the suspension of public services. Although a process was initiated in January to standardize salaries in several public sectors, the employees of the National Archives were overlooked, one employee says. The Government faces additional pressure from certain categories of public sector employees who consider themselves wronged in comparison to other public sector workers, most of whose salary demands were met by the government, and it also has to deal with a sizable budget deficit. All that amidst an election whirlpool this year in Romania, which starts on June 9 with the local and European Parliament elections, continues in September with the presidential election and ends in December with the parliamentary election. (VP)

 

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