The specialised staff who work at the Ministry of Culture institutions are called "Referents". Most of the staff members who work in this area are hired on the basis of government regulations that require that staff must hold at least a baccalaureate diploma. The decision as to whether or not the baccalaureate is sufficient or if a university degree is required for the position of director is taken by the local administration, with the approval of the inspectorate for culture or other organisations.
Statistics provided to the Ministry of Culture indicate that the following staff work in the 334 "maisons de la culture" (of which 69 belong to trade unions, 8 to students, and 44 to young people): specialists-directors and referents -33.6%; accountants and administrative staff -29.8%; auxiliary staff -36.3%. In 58 "maisons de la culture" (27%) there is no management staff. Salary levels are rather low, the percentage of unskilled staff is higher than that of specialists and, as a result, on average, there are fewer than two referents at each "maison de culture". The average age is rather high: staff under 32 years old represent 25%, while those over 40 represent 49%. The data from "foyers de culture" indicate that more than 50% of the management positions in the national network of 2,738 "foyers de culture" are vacant. Specialists´ salaries cannot be freely negotiated; the Ministry of Culture limits them. The "foyer de culture" are self-financing, so it is not possible to negotiate revenues collected via tuition fees. The result is that there is no incentive for those working for these institutions. In Romania, young people are generally interested in staff positions in continuing education. Still, this work is seen as unattractive as a result of low salaries, and of the negative image of this work. "Maisons de la culture", popular universities and "foyers de culture" are still seen as entities belonging to the communist past.
Haase, E., Schifirneþ, C. (1997) Paideia, n.3