Bulgaria's Cultural Sector Workers to Protest Against Insufficient Funding
Workers at museums, galleries and municipal libraries will stage protests across Bulgaria on Tuesday against the insufficient funding allocated to the cultural sector.
They will protest against the systematic underfunding of the cultural heritage and the inadequate remuneration of employees in the cultural sector.
The protesters invite citizens to join their day of discontent by offering free admission to certain cultural institutions, staging processions and other activities.
The protesters will be supported by the officials of the National Library, who have scheduled their own demonstration to take place on December 10.
According to the workers, the funds foreseen in the 2016 budget are less than what is necessary for switching to the system of delegated budgets in state museums.
Among their demands are: increasing the basic sums paid by the state; directing BGN 4 M towards regional libraries through municipalities; allocating additional funds to the outdoor areas of cultural institutions; increasing the salaries of specialists, who are currently being paid BGN 400-550, by 50 %.
Specialists warn that without fulfilling these conditions, the museums and galleries will be no longer able to safeguard the cultural heritage.
Most of the workers in the cultural sector will protest symbolically or during their lunch breaks.
The National Historical Museum (NIM) has declared an “open door day” on Tuesday, with workers going to explain to visitors their activities and their working conditions.
Writers, readers and workers will organize a large-scale protest reading at the stairs of the Sofia library on Slaveikov square.
Between 12 and 13 EET, the workers are expected to hold a protest at the staff entrance of the building of parliament.
Out of 3000 people working in the cultural sector, more than 2200 have confirmed their participation in the protests.
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