SP does not pay additional payments to teachers in vulnerable schools – 04/03/2024 – Education

SP does not pay additional payments to teachers in vulnerable schools – 04/03/2024 – Education

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For two months now, the Tarcísio de Freitas (Republican) government has been failing to pay an additional amount to teachers who work in schools in the State of São Paulo that are considered vulnerable.

The bonus, established by law by then-governor João Doria in 2022, was created with the aim of encouraging educators to work in units that are located in places with a high rate of violence, poverty, difficult access or geological risk.

Last year, for example, teachers who worked in schools considered to be of medium, high or very high vulnerability received monthly bonuses of R$289.63, R$374.10 and R$699.94, respectively.

The additional payment stopped being paid to teachers in February this year, because the Secretary of Education, Renato Feder, did not publish the act that defines the degree of vulnerability of each of the approximately 5,500 state schools in São Paulo.

Under the law that created the ALE (Additional Place of Exercise), the Secretary of Education is responsible for annually re-examining the classification of schools. Until this Tuesday (2), almost two months after the start of classes in the state network, Feder had not published the definition of each unit.

In a note, the Department of Education said that “it is in the process of finalizing the decree” that will define the payment of ALE for 2024. According to the ministry, the Tarcísio administration will include professionals from indigenous and quilombola units. It will also change the rule that determines the annual revaluation, making it a three-year period.

“With the review, scheduled to be published this April, an additional 2,424 teachers will have access to ALE, an investment greater by around R$20 million than the amount paid in 2023”, says the secretariat.

When questioned, the department did not say why it did not publish the classification of schools or the rule changes before the start of school to avoid delays in paying additional fees to teachers.

It also did not inform how many teachers and how many units were awarded ALE last year.

For teachers, the delay in payment already generates inconvenience and concern about expenses, as the additional amount represents more than 10% of the salary of those who receive the category’s minimum wage, which is R$5,300 for the teaching day. 40 hours per week.

“We don’t get paid well and, when we get a bonus, the government doesn’t fulfill its obligations and delays payment. Furthermore, the additional is paid because we often bear the cost of working in such vulnerable schools”, says Tiago Luiz , 40, physical education teacher.

“We spend more to ensure our safety to get to school or help a student who is in need. It’s not a bonus we receive, but compensation”, adds the teacher at the Clovis da Silva Alves state school, in Itaquaquecetuba, who until last year it was classified as highly vulnerable.

The unit is in the middle of a community, with difficult access by public transport. The school is also considered to have a high degree of management complexity, as it serves more than 800 students.

The majority of teachers who work at the unit are hired on a temporary basis and many were unemployed for two months this year, after the Tarcísio administration changed the way classes were assigned for the 2024 school year.

“Many colleagues are behind on their bills after spending two months without receiving anything. Now that they have returned to work, many were counting on the additional payment to get their finances back into balance, but were surprised by this delay”, says Luiz.

In February, the governor acknowledged that he does not pay teachers in São Paulo a good salary. “We know that teachers don’t have the best structure or the best salaries, but they have a lot of love,” he said at the time.

Even though he recognizes the need to improve remuneration, Tarcísio did not present any proposal to enhance teachers’ careers and said that this will only happen when “the state’s fiscal issues are resolved”.

Despite arguing that there are no conditions to increase teachers’ salaries, the governor forwarded a project to Alesp so that retired military police officers receive up to R$6,034 in additional (complementary to the salary they already receive) to work in civic-military schools — the The value is 13% higher than the teaching minimum.

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