Analysis of a Major Inequity in the Budgetary Wage System: Gerontocracy. Arguments and Solutions

  • Viorel ROTILĂ Associate Professor PhD, „Dunarea de Jos” University Galati, Galati, Romania
  • Lidia CELMARE Researcher, MPhil, „Solidarity” Research and Social Development Center, Galati, Romania
Keywords: Gerontocracy, discrimination, wage system, budgetary employees, payment hierarchy


In this article, we demonstrate that the influence of seniority on employees’ gross salaries in the budgetary sector is exaggerated, leading to significant effects which allow us to legitimately discuss the gerontocracy it reveals, in other words, the wage discrimination based on age criteria. The wage system currently applied for the budgetary employees’ wages is characterized by a hierarchical classification based on a dominant criterion, namely the age, which is equivalent to the “seniority in work” indicator (transposed into the six salary grades). Seniority is an exclusive criterion for defining payment hierarchy in the case of identical categories of staff. For each occupational category, the basic salary is hierarchically classified based on seniority and according to the 6 grades; also, based on it all categories of bonuses are established. Thus, the differences in the basic salary are multiplied by each of the applicable bonuses. The maximum level of polarization based on seniority is the when bonuses for working conditions depend on the basic salary which is hierarchically classified according to the accumulated length of service. The result is that different “compensations” for identical working conditions in identical occupational categories are offered. Different compensation for members of the same professional category working under exactly the same conditions flagrantly violates the principles of equity and the provisions of Art. 3, section c) of Law no. 284/2010. We consider that the best solution would be that bonuses should be related to the basic salary, which would correspond to the 0 grade for each of the professional categories. Considering the set of effects caused by wage discrimination based on age and taking into account the reason why they were introduced, we used the term “gerontocracy”. Gerontocracy could be one of the risks inherent to democratic societies and created by modernity, which has not been sufficiently studied so far and which is enhanced by the contribution of age-based knowledge (recognition) in a society where science occupies an increasingly important place.


[1] Berry C. The rise of gerontocracy? Addressing the intergenerational democratic deficit. Intergenerational Foundation. [Internet]. May 2012 [cited 2017.03.29]. 3 p. Available from:
[2] Chiriac A, Văileanu C. What can unions do for a fair payroll system for employees, women and men? Mining on Payroll Policies for Trade Union Leaders. Equality Partnership Center [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2017.03.29].1 4 p. Available from:
[3] Fazy J-J.. De la gérontocratie; ou, Abus de la sagesse des vieillards dans le Gouvernement de la Frace. Paris: De L`Imprimerie de David; 1828.
[4] John Moffat, Duncan Roth. The cohort size-wage relationship in Europe. Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics. 2013; 46. 12p.
[5] Fertig M, Schmidt CM. Gerontocracy in Motion? European Cross-Country Evidence on the Labor Market Consequences of Population Ageing. IZA Discussion Paper. 2003 December; 956. 12 p.
[6] Rotilă V. Study on the salary system in Health in Romania. Case Analysis: Pay Per Performance. Galați: Editura Sodalitas. 2013.
[7] Legea cadru nr. 284/2010 privind salarizarea unitară a personalului plătit din fonduri publice. Text publicat în Monitorul Oficial. al României. În vigoare de la 01 ianuarie 2011 până la 30 iunie 2017, fiind abrogat și înlocuit prin Lege 153/2017. Available from:
[8] Legea nr. 53/2003, Codul Muncii republicat 2011. Republicat in Monitorul Oficial NR. 345 din 18 mai 2011. Available from:
[9] Legea nr. 250/2016 privind aprobarea Ordonanței de urgență a Guvernului nr. 20/2016 pentru modificarea și completarea Ordonanței de urgență a Guvernului nr. 57/2015 privind salarizarea personalului plătit din fonduri publice în anul 2016, prorogarea unor termene, precum și unele măsuri fiscal-bugetare și pentru modificarea și completarea unor acte normative. Publicat în Monitorul Oficial al României nr 1028 din 21 decembrie 2016. Available from:
How to Cite
ROTILĂ, V., & CELMARE, L. (2017). Analysis of a Major Inequity in the Budgetary Wage System: Gerontocracy. Arguments and Solutions. LUMEN Proceedings, 1, 730-739.