In support of its member organisation the Education and Science Trade Union (ESTU), EI has requested the education minister of Moldova, Larisa Savga, to open a dialogue with the teacher union to review teachers' salary.
Although ESTU submitted its demands in March, the government has continually ignored the requests for negotiation with the teacher union, which represents more than 140,000 teachers in the country.
"Nevertheless, a dialogue has to take place because teachers need to have a living wage, which is not the case right now. The current situation is such that the teaching profession is not capable of attracting newcomers and the education system is, as you already know, not able to cope with the lack of teachers," stated the EI General Secretary in his letter to the minister.
ESTU is demanding a salary increase of 600 lei (45 euros) from 1 September 2008 and 900 lei (67 euros) from 1 January 2009.
Apart from the salary review, ESTU also wants to discuss with the government the modification of the law 355 of December 2005 concerning the salary system of the public sector, as well as the adoption of the Code of Laws on Education and a law on minimum wage.
Because it has been ignored by the government, ESTU organised a picket line in front of government buildings since 1 September and the action is widely supported by parents and the civil society. Should the government continue to ignore the teachers' request, a national strike or other industrial actions might ensue.