11 Nov 2008

28% wage rise for teachers approved - 50% wanted

9:05 am on 11 November 2008

The government in Romania agreed on Monday to raise wages for teachers by up to 28% next year.

A parliamentary election is due to be held on 30 November. Higher wages for teachers are a key issue in the election campaign.

Earlier, the Senate rejected a government plan to delay a raise of 50%, which was approved by parliament in September. The cabinet was opposed to this on the grounds it would destabilise the economy.

It comes at a time when many economists say Romania should curb state spending to insulate its economy from the global financial crisis.

The new increase would come into effect in two stages, starting in March.

It still needs parliament's approval and deputies may still try to implement the original, 50% rise.

Some 170,000 teachers held a two-hour strike throughout Romania on Monday. Public sector trade unions are also threatening to go on strike if their wages are not raised by 50%.