Federal employees increase pressure for readjustments – 04/04/2024 – Market

Federal employees increase pressure for readjustments – 04/04/2024 – Market


Federal public servants intensified pressure on the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and began a strike movement, in an escalation of the mobilizations for salary adjustments that had already been taking place in recent months.

Officials at federal institutes crossed their arms this Wednesday (3) and promised to paralyze even social programs run by the institutions. Higher education teachers, in turn, approved a strike plan from April 15th. University technicians stop earlier, on April 11th.

Other careers make occasional stoppages, work in “standard operations” (a routine with greater bureaucracy, with a negative impact on service time) or promote mobilization actions. The list includes employees from the Central Bank, the National Treasury, the Federal Revenue, the CVM (Securities Commission), foreign trade analysts and members of environmental careers (such as ICMBio and Ibama).

Faced with the intensification, the government signaled to the unions the resumption of the national negotiating table, which had been paralyzed since February 28th. A new meeting should take place next week.

The Ministry of Management and Innovation is counting on the release of extra credit of up to R$15 billion from May 22nd to be able to satisfy civil servants’ demands. Therefore, the conversations had cooled down, and there was an expectation of resuming them between the end of May and the beginning of June.

Government interlocutors, however, recognize that the temperature has risen with the strike movement in education. There is a fear that this will pull the queue of other categories, creating a problem not only fiscally, but also politically.

Fonasefe (Forum of National Entities of Federal Public Servants) called for a national march in Brasília for April 17th.

Another factor should keep MGI under pressure in the first half of April. The entities demand the increase of around 51% in food, health and childcare aid promised by the government in its original proposal.

The Executive’s intention was to use the R$1.5 billion already reserved in the Budget to boost these benefits from May onwards, but the categories refused because they understood that they would have to give up an adjustment in 2024.

As May approaches, however, the categories start to demand updating the values, since the money is already in the Budget. Food assistance in the Executive would go from R$658 to R$1,000, close to the values ​​practiced in the Legislative and Judiciary, which pay R$1,393 (almost a minimum wage, today at R$1,412).

Fonacate (Permanent National Forum of Typical State Careers) sent a letter to the MGI on Monday (1st) asking for “measures for immediate implementation of the readjustment of benefits”. Fonasefe presented a document with similar content.

The issue of adjustments is more complex. To grant some percentage, the government depends on extra credit, which will be released if the revenue projection for 2024 is favorable.

The categories, however, fear that there will be no money left to negotiate with civil servants given the list of accounts “hanging” in this credit.

The National Congress demands the recovery of R$5.6 billion in parliamentary amendments that were vetoed by Lula. The Executive expects to use part of the funds to reverse the blockage of R$2.9 billion on funding and investment expenses.

“The government needs to put money into restructuring education and teaching careers. We want to compete for the money that is in the government’s hands at the moment and the money that will be in the LOA [Lei Orçamentária Anual] 2025”, said David Lobão, general coordinator of Sinasefe (National Union of Federal Servants in Basic, Professional and Technological Education).

Last year, the government signed agreements with careers at the Federal Police and the Federal Highway Police to grant adjustments and career restructuring, in addition to starting to regulate bonuses for Federal Revenue auditors.

The acts inflamed the other categories, which felt neglected. There is also discomfort because some of the members of these careers were part of the support base for former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who maintained a more restrictive salary policy.

“The government is selectively giving priority to the top floor. It’s like that song says, the top floor goes up and the bottom floor goes down”, criticized Sérgio Ronaldo da Silva, general secretary of Condsef (Confederation of Workers in the Federal Public Service) and representative of Fonasef.

“Many categories have already negotiated, so an MP should come out in the next few days [medida provisória] granting adjustments to these personnel. As the agenda for some categories is unlocked, others become anxious because their situation is not resolved”, said Rudinei Marques, president of Fonacate.

Lobão, from Sinasefe, rescued a statement from Minister Fernando Haddad (Finance) from February 2023, when he said that the government would “take the grenade out of the pockets” of civil servants. It was an allusion to what former Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said in 2020, when celebrating a law that would freeze civil service salaries for two years.

“We invested a lot at the negotiation table. In the construction of the 2024 LOA, we were called on the eve of delivery and found out that there would be zero increase. The world fell on our heads. Haddad made a commitment to take the grenade out of our pockets, it was a disappointment very big,” he said.

The MGI says it has already signed ten specific agreements and that there are eight negotiations underway, including with Ibama and ICMBio officials and with the education area.

“Specifically for the educational career, the Ministries of Management and Education created a working group to deal with the restructuring. The final report, delivered on March 27th to Minister Esther Dweck, will serve as input for the government’s proposal to restructure the career, which will be presented to employees at the specific negotiation table”, says the ministry.

On the first day of strike at federal institutes, more than 320 of the 648 campuses joined the strike, according to Sinasefe. This would have the potential to cover half of the approximately 72 thousand servers.

The order is to maintain only essential activities, such as payment of scholarships and aid to needy students, and suspend administrative services (such as those related to enrollment) and social programs, such as Mulheres Mil, focused on the educational, social and productive inclusion of women in vulnerable situation.

According to Lobão, the message to the government is “your social program will stop if it doesn’t serve us”.


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