The Novinite (Bulgarian) website reports today (December 13, 2010) that Bulgarian clerics and church employees have established a trade union, which became a member of the National Labor Confederation "Podkrepa" (Support).
This is the first ever clergy trade union in Bulgaria, and it joins an organization composed of 36 regional trade unions, 30 federations and national syndicates, and 4 associated organizations.
In late November, the clergy from the northern Vratsa Eparchy voiced outrage against the Bulgarian Holy Synod over not receiving salaries and benefits. The bank accounts of the Eparchy are blocked due to staggering debt and the Eparchy Council has been forced to sell church properties, in order to meet the needs of local clergy.
In some eparchies, high-ranking clerics demonstrate wealth -- such as expensive automobiles -- while other priests receive less than the minimum wage in Bulgaria.