Romanian teachers protest in Bucharest, demand higher wages | iNFOnews

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Romanian teachers protest in Bucharest, demand higher wages

Aurel Selaru, a Romanian teachers union leader, blows a horn during a march in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Thousands of Romanian teachers have demonstrated in Bucharest outside the government's main offices before marching through the capital to demand higher salaries. (AP Photo/Nicolae Dumitrache)
June 01, 2016 - 6:27 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania - Thousands of Romanian teachers demonstrated Wednesday to demand higher salaries, rallying outside the government's main offices in Bucharest then marching through the capital.

Dressed in yellow T-shirts and red caps, the teachers whistled and booed, and carried banners saying "Leave education to the teachers!" and "If you can read this, thank your teacher."

The government this week offered teachers a 5 per cent pay rise. Trade union leader Simion Hancescu said teachers were seeking a 10 per cent raise.

Currently, teachers earn a base monthly salary of between 1,100 lei ($275) and 5,000 lei ($1,250).

Adrian Nicolie, a teacher in southern Romania, complained about the working conditions.

"We can't teach on a salary of 1,100 lei a month. We can't teach when many colleagues aren't paid for commuting and we can't teach with 35 students in a classroom or even 40 in kindergartens," he said.

Teachers also marched toward the presidential Cotroceni Palace in west Bucharest. President Klaus Iohannis is himself a former physics professor.

Labour Minister Dragos Pislaru suggested the protest was politically motivated ahead of the June 5 local elections.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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