Romanian President Traian Basescu talked on Tuesday evening on Romanian TV channel OTV about the decision of cutting jobs in the education department. He said that locum tenants and teachers that have already retired will leave the system and that a possible curriculum reform would generate other redundancies.

"It is not compulsory to expect this by December 15. Today an event happened in the educational system and I have talked about it during the campaign, namely the educational system reform. The slash of the 15,000 roles is not purely an administrative cut, but is triggered by the financing system. Cost standards per pupils have been decided and teachers will be paid from the money they cash in, incomes, bonuses and indemnities. (...) This will force schools to join, it will force [them] to sack not the department holders, but the locum tenants (...) and those retired teachers that are paid per course after pension. Some have completed their duty for the education system, let's wish them a long retirement and good health, while others are not qualified, they are locum tenants", the chief of state said Romanian news agency Mediafax reads.

"Department holders count 174,669, the rest go home", he added. Basescu appreciate that this staff cut does not target the curriculum reform. "I hope that the 2010-2011 academic year will start in a completely new learning structure. For instance, children in high schools study today 13 subjects, even 14. In a reformed educational system, the number of subjects must be six to seven a year. If the curriculum reform is also going to be achieved, there is the possibility of a larger number of redundancies", Basescu noted.

According to the chief of state, the union leaders are supporting the politicians, "partly because of the collapse of the education system", and their responsibility "is shared".

The maximum number of jobs financed by the state in the pre-university state education system has been reduced by 10% in comparison with 2004, that is 0ver 33,000 roles were cut. The total number of financed state-funded teaching jobs in this department is 306,000. The redundancies are to be enforced in two stages throughout 2010.

UPDATE Education Unions will take to court the ordinance addressing redundancies in the Educational system, namely the axing of 15,000 jobs financed by the state. The say the measure is an abuse, for the Government has not opened the decision to debates in the social dialogue commissions, the Economic Council or the Social Council. "This is an abusive measure, after in 2009, there were 20,000 redundancies in the learning system", Education Federation of Free Unions president Aurel Cornea told Mediafax reporters.

According to Aurel Cornea, in the urban areas most classrooms have 30 students or more, while in the rural areas there have already been made all the possible grouping: "This abuse will lead once more to the drop in the education quality and the academic year will be messed up again", the FSLI added.

The union leader declared that the Government's decision will be contested in court and that the People attorney will be notified, since the Government did not respect procedures and did not ask for the Economic and Social Council authorisation. Education unions do not exclude a general strike in the system.