Romanian Prime Minister Resigns, Teacher Strike Ends

Joshua Paulo
Joshua Paulo
Combining a Criminal Justice and International Relations background, Josh boasts years of experience in various forms of analysis and freelance journalism. He currently spearheads a team of professionals committed to delivering unbiased reporting to provide the public and private sector with accurate and insightful information. Josh serves as Atlas's Director of News.

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Announcing his resignation in a government reshuffle, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said he had achieved what he set out to do after resolving a nationwide strike and appeasing the teachers unions.

“Through good collaboration, we managed to agree on a form of legislation so that the demands of teachers could be met and restore confidence in the teachers, educators, and instructors in the Romanian education system. We need measures that are sustainable and not populist. Therefore, considering that this conflict has been resolved and as we have assumed and I have assumed, today is the moment when I conclude my term as the prime minister of Romania,” Ciuca said, cited by G4Media.

“The coalition will begin the procedures for the reshuffle. We will immediately have an interim government until the new government is invested. We have set a goal to have the new government invested by Thursday,” he added.

On May 22, educators in Romania initiated a strike to demand better compensation. Over the past few weeks, numerous street demonstrations took place in Bucharest and various parts of the country as negotiations between the unions and the government failed to reach an agreement.

To temporarily halt the strike, a specific condition was set: the immediate enactment of an emergency ordinance. This ordinance guarantees that the starting salary for novice teachers will not fall below the average wage in the economy. Additionally, the initial installment of the salary increase, accounting for 50% of the raise stipulated in the new salary law, will be implemented starting January 1, 2024. This information was conveyed through an official announcement.

Nonetheless, the union emphasized that if the provisions outlined in the emergency ordinance are not reflected in the actual text of the new wage law, the strike will resume.

Shortly following this announcement came the PM’s resignation. The Social Democrats (PSD), the current coalition partners, are anticipated to assume the role of prime minister. Marcel Ciolacu, the leader of the PSD, is likely to be appointed to the position.

Referred to as the “Government Rotation,” this rearrangement involves the exchange of the Prime Minister position between the Liberals (PNL) and the Social Democrats as part of a broader restructuring of the government.

In his resignation statement, Ciuca acknowledged that the rotation was originally scheduled for May 25 but was postponed due to the ongoing teachers’ strike.