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FSE "Spiru Haret" sounds alarm on risk of schools becoming coronavirus hotbeds due to staff shortage

Time of Israel
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The "Spiru Haret" Federation of Education Trade Unions (FSE "Spiru Haret") has signaled to the authorities as early as this August that the educational institutions are faced with staff shortage and has requested prompt action for hiring indispensable personnel for the implementation of the measures intended to keep the coronavirus at bay, the Federation said in a release on Thursday.

The result was the adoption of the Government's Decision No. 765/2020, by which the total number of positions in the public pre-university education system, special education included, county educational resources and assistance centers/the Bucharest Educational Resources and Assistance Center was increased from 285,460 to 285,960, but the additional 500 positions are a far cry from the real needs, the "Spiru Haret" Federation underscores.

A survey conducted by the "Spiru Haret" Federation of Education Trade Unions in 25 counties and the Municipality of Bucharest, based on data received from the local organizations and school inspectorates, found that the real need stands at about 29,000 teachers and over 8,600 other staff - auxiliary and non-teaching staff. Compared to these figures, in the current pandemic context, the 500 positions are just a drop in the ocean, the unionists argue.

Consequently, the trade unionists sent the Prime Minister of Romania a letter requesting that these issues be sorted out.

"Mr. Prime Minister, due to the freezing of hiring, many educational institutions are compelled to set up student study groups larger than the upper limit provided for by the law, particularly due to the rising numbers of students in large urban areas. Also, the shortage of non-teaching staff endangers the safety of everyone in the unit: children and employees. If you do not urgently and significantly supplement the positions in the public pre-university education system, you risk turning schools into infection hotbeds, which will lead to a sped up mass transmission," the release cautions.

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