Romanian Teachers Go on Nationwide Strike to Demand Higher Pay

(Bloomberg) -- Romanian teachers held a nationwide strike for the first time in two decades, demanding higher wages and better working conditions.

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Over 150,000 teachers walked out of the classrooms and urged parents to keep children home weeks ahead of final exams. Union leaders are demanding an almost 50% wage hike for young teachers and progressive increases across the board at meetings with government officials.

Weekend negotiations yielded no result as teachers rejected a cabinet proposal over bonus payouts. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said it’s hard to swiftly accommodate educators’ request because of budget constraints.

“We need to see a credible solution from the government, with clear perspectives to end this strike,” said Marius Nistor, an education union leader.

The government in Bucharest is grappling with plans to cut spending and meet a budget-deficit target of 4.4% of gross domestic product.

The country’s ruling coalition is now wrangling over the details of a planned transition to a new prime minister in a power-sharing deal, even as a cost-of-living crisis and the war in neighboring Ukraine undercut the economy and inflation is stuck in double digit.

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