The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) will be determined to restore respect to the teaching profession if the party enters government next year, DK’s prime ministerial candidate said.
Klára Dobrev told a press conference on Facebook that she had held consultations with teachers association representatives earlier in the day and it was agreed that the transformation of education should begin with a wage increase for teachers. New teachers in Romania earn 80 euros more a month than in Hungary, she said, adding that DK would “put in order” teachers’ wages over a five-year period, and adjust their increase also to minimum wage increases. DK would restore the public servant status to teachers, pay proper overtime fees to them and change the “current humiliating classification system” in the profession, she said.
DK lawmaker Gergely Arató said the party wanted a government that would also address problems faced by teachers, including a staff shortage.
Ruling Fidesz said in reaction that the left was being “hypocritical” on education. The party said in a statement that thousands of teachers had “ended up on the street” during DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány’s tenure as prime minister between 2004 and 2009.
“Gyurcsány and his party always try to swing teachers around on a string during election campaigns, but when they were in government they casually closed hundreds of schools, put thousands of teachers on the street and made them work for humiliatingly low wages,” Fidesz said. “The left is still led by the same Gyurcsány who held teachers in contempt while he was in government.”