The teachers’ strike is over! School has started!” – the headline of Hotnews, issue of November 28, 2005. The strike, which began on November 7, ended with the acceptance of the government’s proposal, mediated by the president, to increase the salary of teaching and support staff by 11.83% (the initial demand was 18%). The next general strike will begin on May 22, 2023. The 11th day of the current strike has now ended”The teachers also rejected the Government’s latest offer and are continuing their strike

Teachers’ protestPhoto: / Adrian Vasilache

18 years for a general strike… legally we cannot accuse our teachers of abusing this extremely powerful tool. Of course, we can’t even give them top marks for patience given the time. A fatal coincidence for a young man who was born during a teachers’ strike and couldn’t calmly pass his BAC because of the strike (one that wasn’t really his fault).

I would not rate the pedagogical department very highly either – that is, how they managed to explain their strike, why it is needed and how it helps us all.

Of course, I am not a teacher to give grades. My parents are teachers (18 years ago, in 2005, they were still active); I had wonderful teachers at home, in Shomkuta Mare, then in Baia Mare, at Shinkai High School, from whom I realized how difficult this work is (in any case, it is too important to be considered easy).

But, out of respect for your work, both then and now, I think it should be said that long-term posters like “We want a decent wage” (here – from 2023, and here – from 2005) are not enough, to convey the desperate message our school has to give.

Even 18 years ago is not enough, of course, but it seems that Google was only 7 years old then, mobile was something with keys, smart was just a small gasoline car, chat, another invention, a crisis of masters, a joke, or geopolitics and wars between states, forgotten matter Now, after 18 years, today’s children walk with heavier backpacks, read more abstract textbooks and understand the world less than yesterday’s children (today’s parents).

I would not go so far as to insist on a worthy adaptation of the student assessment system to the age of artificial intelligence (the subject of current debate in the German teachers’ associations), but I will remind you of a saying borrowed from Sir Churchill – “never let a good crisis go to waste“.

Finally, I said that I would not let this crisis pass without citing a number of figures, perhaps as notes for a possible open lesson in modern history. And let’s start with a study of … school economics, which can put some light on things:

2005 year 2023 year
Liveborn 221,020 196,858*
Children in pre-university, 3,644,367 2,941,784
From which university? 767,439 597,789
From which vocational schools 284,412 104,986
The teaching staff of the UNIVERSITY 281,034 237,854
Of them in high school 61,914 52,714
Of them in PTU 6,234 1430
Average net salary in education (lei) 764 4321**
GDP/place (lei) 13455.3 74,033.7***
Exchange rate (lei/1 euro) 3.68 4.95****

The source is INS. *data on the number of births, children and teaching staff are given for 2021. ** data for March 2005, respectively March 2023; *** preliminary dates of 2022; **** data as of March 31, 2005, corresponding to 2023 (source

Speaking of salaries, here is a comparison of the annual gross basic salary for primary school teachers (in PPS), academic year 2020/2021

Level Romania Bulgaria Finland France Germany Poland Hungary
ISCED 1 (initial) 17,977 15,159 26,493 24,563 50,357 15,068 13,465
ISCED 34 (secondary school and post-secondary school) 17,977 15,159 30,077 26,889 58,541 15,068 13,465

To facilitate international comparisons, salaries have been converted from national currencies to PPS. The value of PPS is obtained by dividing national monetary units by the corresponding purchasing power parity. Purchasing power parity data for real individual consumption of Eurostat 2020 (EU-27 = 1) were used. Source of the study “Salaries of teachers and school principals in Europe in the academic year 2020/2021” – EC, via the Eurydice program (October 2022)

Looking at the data above, you might wonder what is one of the European discoveries in the famous PISA tests. You guessed it… Poland (here’s the difference in results and Romania’s place compared to Poland in the 2018 analysis).

And that may be because salary isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to motivating teachers to work with their students. In other words, education policy is not just about salaries. The following comparison may help shed some light on the current labor conflict: where starting salaries are low, you can increase your attractiveness by moving quickly up the career ladder (and implicitly up the pay scale). Why wait for a pension to reach the top, especially when the retirement is far from the same as that of specialists, teachers, in my opinion, have no less difficult working conditions.

Differences between basic salaries:

Romania Poland
After 10 years of experience 17.3% 33.7%
After 15 years of experience 24.3% 63.3%
At the top of the salary scale 77.4% 70.2%
Average length of service to reach the highest salary range 40 years old 20 years

(source Eurydice report, 2020/2021)

With more flexibility and innovation in schooling, we may not be able to avoid the next over-18 general strike (or earlier), but at least it will help us have a school for our children. Which would not be so little.

And the fiscal and educational parallel

It is probably no coincidence that Poland is also one of the European champions in fiscal policy innovation. The huge jump in reducing the VAT gap (the difference between actual and potential revenue) is already well known. More recently, it has also adopted the modern methods of cooperative compliance / compliance through collaboration, those that establish a true partnership between the tax administration and the taxpayer (if you like, a modern partnership between the school that issues the grades and the student who has to deliver, not be assessed). .

We could use these politicians! The other day, the Minister of Finance said that he received tax returns with amounts even higher than he estimated, but the actual receipts turned out to be lower than expected. Or what he says is a clear need for tax policy to support the taxpayer who wants to comply (otherwise he wouldn’t file a return)! Instead, the official conclusion “The efficiency of the collection system should increase…” Sread the whole article and comment on