site.btaOver 200 Municipal Museum Workers in Romania Protest for Higher Pay

Over 200 Municipal Museum Workers in Romania Protest for Higher Pay
Over 200 Municipal Museum Workers in Romania Protest for Higher Pay
Museum workers protesting in Bucharest, Romania, May 18, 2024 (BTA Photo)

Over 200 municipal museum employees in Romania protested for higher pay in front of the Culture Ministry here on Saturday. They wore white t-shirts reading, "Culture matters" and held posters readings, "The museum: a lot of work, little pay", "Respect, not tolerance. Don't leave culture in the dark," "Dignity," and "Do not Kill Culture", among others.

An employee of the National History Museum of Romania told BTA that the level of pay for museum workers is far below what is normal in an EU Member State. "However, our protest is not over salaries alone: it is also over the unsatisfactory state of Romania's cultural heritage. Today's demonstration is like a warning light. That is why we are calling on society to show solidarity with us," she said.

In her words, a highly qualified specialist at a public museum currently has a smaller salary than a newbie working at a university museum. "The problem is not that they get higher pay but that we get little," she specified.

A researcher from the National Museum in Alba-Iulia, commented that on their professional holiday they are not at home celebrating with friends. "Not only are we poorly paid and working in poor conditions, but we also lack funding for culture. We are not blackmailing, we do not have a political color: we are a professional category demanding respect," he told BTA.

CulturMedia Vice President Decebal Vleja said that instead of celebrating 20 years of culture, they have to protest. "We have been holding negotiations for four months, we demanded equal pay for libraries and museum with the Education Ministry, but all we got were promises," he commented.

The protesters shows journalists a t-shirt they have prepared for the Romania Prime Minister reading, "volunteer". Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said he is ready to take part in the Night of Museums as a volunteer, after trade unionists announced that some of the most important museums in the country will not open their doors to visitors in protest against the varying salaries in the field.

This year, Romania marks 20 years since the first Night of Museums in the country. To be open are 253 sites, by 50 fewer than in previous editions. To remain closed are the National History Museum of Romania and the Bucharest Municipality Museum, among others.

/DS/

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By 05:40 on 19.07.2024 Today`s news

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