Romanian teachers demand higher wages

Almost 40,000 Romanian teachers went on strike Monday after failing to reach an agreement with the government over demands for higher wages.Some teachers reported to work, news channel Realitatea TV reported, although all four teachers' unions had agreed to the unlimited strike. Teachers have protested since the start of the school year in September that their wages are too low, and that not enough money is spent on education.

They are demanding a minimum monthly salary equivalent to Ђ250 (US$300) per month. Starting salaries are about 3 million lei (Ђ75; US$100) a month - about a third of the average monthly wage in Romania, the AP reports.

Education Minister Mircea Miclea resigned last month to protest the underfunding of the education system, but remained in office while his party looked for a successor.

Mihai Hardau, a government representative in the northwest city of Cluj, was nominated Monday by the ruling party to be the next education minister. A.M.

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