Europe

Romanian teachers in protest as they seek higher wages

  • Romanian teachers blow whistles and carry a banner that reads "Laws exist, Respect them" during a march in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Thousands of Romanian teachers have demonstrated in Bucharest outside the government's main offices before marching through the capital to demand higher salaries.(AP Photo/Nicolae Dumitrache)

    Romanian teachers blow whistles and carry a banner that reads "Laws exist, Respect them" during a march in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Thousands of Romanian teachers have demonstrated in Bucharest outside the government's main offices before marching through the capital to demand higher salaries.(AP Photo/Nicolae Dumitrache)  (The Associated Press)

  • Aurel Selaru, a Romanian teachers union leader, blows a horn during a march in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Thousands of Romanian teachers have demonstrated in Bucharest outside the government's main offices before marching through the capital to demand higher salaries. (AP Photo/Nicolae Dumitrache)

    Aurel Selaru, a Romanian teachers union leader, blows a horn during a march in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Thousands of Romanian teachers have demonstrated in Bucharest outside the government's main offices before marching through the capital to demand higher salaries. (AP Photo/Nicolae Dumitrache)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of Romanian teachers have demonstrated outside the Romanian government's main offices in Bucharest before marching through the capital to demand higher salaries.

Dressed in yellow tee-shirts and red caps, teachers whistled and booed Wednesday, and carried banners saying "Leave education to the teachers!" and "If you can read this, thank your teacher."

The government this week offered teachers a 5 percent pay rise. Trade union leader Simion Hancescu said teachers were seeking a 10 percent raise.

Currently, teachers earn a base monthly salary of between 1,100 lei ($275) and 5,000 lei ($1,250).

Teachers later marched toward the presidential Cotroceni Palace in west Bucharest. President Klaus Iohannis is himself a former physics professor.

Labor Minister Dragos Pislaru suggested the protest was politically motivated ahead of June 5 local elections.