At least 19 top earners in the Dutch public service have agreed to take a voluntarily salary cut, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science announced on Monday. Minister Jet Bussemaker earlier made a \"moral appeal\" to 26 people working in education and public broadcasting to reduce their earnings. Four people refused to comply. Two others have either left or are leaving this year and one failed to react, the ministry said. New government rules state no one working in the public sector should earn more than the salary of a government minister, which is 135,000 euros annually (180,000 U.S. dollars). Institutions such as universities, museums and media organizations have seven years to comply with the rules. According to Bussemaker, \"especially in these financially hard times, it is undesirable that managers receive high salaries from public funds -- even if they have the formal right. We welcome the fact that the vast majority of managers have accepted their social responsibility.\"