Analysis 30 May 17

Romania Wage Hike Bill Worries EU, Local Experts

A bill designed to harmonize public-sector pay is on the fast track towards adoption in Romania – but the announced wage hikes have alarmed economists, the EU and local unions alike. 

Ana Maria Touma
BIRN
Bucharest
Romania's Parliament is set to approve in the next few days a wage hike law that worries experts, unions and the EU. Photo: Jerzy Kociatkiewicz/Flikr.

Thousands of local public sector employees across Romania have been protesting since last Wednesday because they are excluded from a government bill raising wages in the public sector. More unions announced new protests on Tuesday. 

Romania’s Senate adopted the unitary pay bill drafted by the Ministry of Labour on Tuesday, and it only awaits confirmation likely within the next few days from the Chamber of Deputies.

Public health and education workers and some other sectors have welcomed the bill, as it promises major pay increases in those sectors.

But both unions and economic experts claim the bill is unjust and chaotic. They also complain that the bill, for unclear reasons, leaves out certain categories of public employees, and claim it might harm the economy in the long term.

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