Maybe it's time for the government to impose a solution for the teacher's strike. Sack all 100,000 of them and then only re-employ 70% of them with 35% salary hike.
To me it seems that there are two problems, firstly that Bulgarian teachers are grossly underpaid, and secondly that there are too many teachers.
In contrast to other professionals in Bulgaria who earn roughly 5 times less than their European counterparts, Bulgarian teachers earn 18 times less. Clearly, they should be getting around 1,100 lev a month, but while every 1 in 140th EU national is a teacher, it's 1 in 70 in Bulgaria (assuming that every teacher's salary is being paid to a real teacher).
One suggestion for a three year deal is as follows:
50% increase 1st October 2007
50% increase 1st October 2008
50% increase 1st October 2009
This will raise take home pay from 310 lv to 1046 lv in three years.
Also, teachers must accept 5% voluntary/compulsory severence a year, for three years, starting from say May 2008. This will reduce the total from approx. 100,000 to approx. 86,000. However, the voluntary severence terms must be good, say 4,000 lev before a May/June 2008 deadline and less afterwards. If there are not enough volunteers, then compulsory redundancies will follow with less favourable terms (say 2,500 lev).
Cost for first year:
256 M BGN - salary increase
20 M BGN - severence payments
276 M BGN Total
So, in three years, teachers will be up to the same level of salary as other Bulgarian professionals, while their numbers will have been reduced by almost 15%. If teachers numbers continue to reduce at 5% a year for the next 12 years, then there will be 1 teacher in 140, the EU average.
Surely, this is the kind of simple formula that both sides could accept?
Well, right now in Bulgaria, maybe average salaries are 5 times less than say UK, France/Germany and the cost of living maybe only 3 times less. So, the average Brit in the UK has 2 times the quality of living.
Nevertheless, by the numbers above, Bulgarian teachers should earn about 1000 lev a month, in contrast to the 300 lev they get :-(
However, there are 427,000 teachers in the UK for a 60 million population, whereas in Bulgaria (according to my calculations from the minister's figures) there are about 100,000 teachers for a 7 million population. So, one in every 140th Brit is a teacher, while one in every 70th Bulgarian is a teacher. Maybe I'm wrong, but if these figures are correct, one English teacher does the work of two Bulgarian teachers?
The average teachers' salary in England in 2006 was ВЈ32,000 a year, or ВЈ2,667 a month. Tax and pension payments reduce this to about ВЈ1,800 (5,400 lv) per month. This is the average amount that goes into the bank accounts of English teachers every month. In contrast, the average Bulgarian teacher takes home about 300 lev per month. The ratio is as follows:
5,400 / 300 = 18
Assuming that it would be desirable for Bulgarian teachers to reach pay parity with English teachers over say a 15 year period, we can find the yearly ratio by taking the 15th root of 18:
15th root of 18 = 1.21
In other words 21% per year, but 21% per year above inflation, maybe 26%.
However, in order to fund this kind of increase, the average *productivity* of a Bulgarian worker will need to increase by roughly the same percentage every year, otherwise Bulgarian inflation will go out of control and there will be an economic crash, as per the 1990's. In other words, for Bulgarian salaries to reach the same levels of the old EU countries over the next 15 years, 4 workers will have to do the work of 5, compounding every year, for the next 15 years. Either by improved technology/machinery, or simply by people working more efficiently in what they do.
Even with EU funding, I doubt that Bulgaria has the management skills, technology skills or enough people with a dynamic entrepreneurial attitude to acheive this?
I am not condoning what the Turks did to the Armenians between 1915-1917, but I guess from the Turkish point of view, their state/empire was being attacked from all sides by Christians; the British and Australians from the south and the Russians from the north. Presuming that the Turkish leadership at that time were versed in Machiavellian thinking, perhaps they feared being sabotaged from within by the Armenian minority and the consequent threat that posed to their predominant culture and beliefs (and perhaps the hope that they could one day re-establish their empire, with the help of their WWI German friends of the time). In this context, I suppose one can understand to a certain extent the Turkish denial of genocide against the Armenians. However, to deny genocide is to deny the most heinous of all crimes. Denying genocide is in truth a flaw in the denier's morality, a flaw which puts into question the denier's entire morality and *honesty*. Tolerance, forgiveness and *honesty* are vital to the well-being of every society, perhaps a thought that some Armenians, Turks and Bulgarians should dwell upon.
I'm sure that your approach is exactly the kind of communist silly rules that most Bulgarians are happy to have left in the past.
The primary factor in the reduction of death and injury are the saftey features in modern cars, followed by the extent of driving experience and highway engineering. Clearly, all of these things will take time to improve.
A "Take it easy and think about the consequences of your driving!" advertising campaign, would perhaps be more fruitful.
If you want to live under 10,000 communist style silly rules, come back to the UK! :-)
50% more Chinese Tourists in Bulgaria
Potentially Defective Aluminum was used by All Car Manufacturers in Japan