The teachers started to mount protests and demand that their salaries should be raised by at least 50%. They say there is no social equality when prosecutors, judges and other categories of budget-funded employees have pays that are much larger than teachers’ salaries, IPN reports.

The protesters formulated six demands for the authorities, but are not sure that these will be satisfied. Chairwoman of the Leova branch of the Education and Science Trade Unions Federation Maria Mateciuc said teachers’ pays are very low. “We, the teachers, who educate society and grow personalities, are treated not in the best way,” she stated.

Oleg Negruta, a physical education teacher from Telenesti district, said those who took to the streets did it not out of pleasure, but because they had too. They are not satisfied with the living conditions. The salaries in education should be raised by 82%, according to the estimates of trade unionists, but the protesters agree to a 50% rise.

Nadejda Seredovscki, of the Soroca branch of the Education and Science Trade Unions Federation, said the demands were submitted to the government last October, but no decision followed. “The nonteaching staff receives a salary of up to 1,000 lei, in villages of 600-700 lei, at a time when the minimum subsidence level is 1,800 lei. Can one live on such a salary?” she asked, adding that the kindergartens risk remaining without nonteaching staff.

To support the teachers, representatives of trade unions from other areas joined in the protest. Ion Cucu, of the health trade union, said the teachers showed will because they decided to unite and show that there are serious problems related to remuneration.

“We came to support the Education and Science Trade Unions Federation, to make common cause with our colleagues,” stated Natalia Chirilova, a member of the trade union Moldsindcoopcomert. Elena Manolache, of the same trade union, said the minimum salary in the budgetary sphere and the real sector is not the same. “For the first category, the salary of budget-funded employees is 1,000 lei, while in the real sector is 2,100 lei. If I clean up in a shop I get 2,100 lei and if someone does the same work in school or kindergarten they get 1,000 lei,” she said.

In reaction, the Ministry of Education issued a press release, saying the demands to raise the salaries of teachers, auxiliary workers and nonteaching staff are justified. “We consider it is opportune to review Government Decision No. 381 of April 13, 2006 so that the basic salaries of nonteaching staff  are reviewed and adjusted to the minimum official salary (2,100 lei a month),” reads the press release. To motivate the young specialists and stimulate teachers, a new remuneration methodology based on performance is being worked out and will be presented at the start of this February.

In a meeting with representatives of trade unions on January 16, Prime Minister Pavel Filip said five of the six demands were practically solved and the Government is to soon approve a number of decisions in this regard. He announced he ordered to set up a group for coordinating the reform of the remuneration system in the budgetary sphere, which will include representatives of trade unions.