The strike of federal universities in Brazil ends to the relief of President Lula

The strike of federal universities in Brazil ends to the relief of President Lula
The strike of federal universities in Brazil ends to the relief of President Lula

The teaching staff and the rest of the staff of the Federal Universities of Brazil have ended the strike that began more than two months ago in demand of labor improvements. The protest has concluded with an agreement with the Government that does not include the salary increase that the strikers demanded for this year but rather a deferred increase to be paid next year and the following year. The end of the mobilization is a relief for the Government of President Luiz Inácio da Silva, pressured by labor protests from various sectors of officials, but with public accounts at the limit. Public environmental employees, on the other hand, have decided to toughen their mobilization and stop completely in five States except to attend to emergencies; They haven’t left their offices for half a year.

Classes will gradually resume in all federal universities and institutes following the agreement reached by both parties. A couple of weeks ago, President Lula announced an investment of 5.5 billion reais (about 1 billion dollars) to renovate classrooms, laboratories, libraries… and create a dozen new campuses attached to existing institutions.

The union that represents the strikers, Andes, maintains that the negotiating process reached its limits and has assumed that the Government was not going to meet their demands. The Executive maintains that budgetary restrictions prevent it from granting any increase for this year, but it has committed to a salary increase above 12% in several installments until 2026.

The president dedicated this Monday to a private agenda, including a visit to Noam Chomsky, 95, at his home in São Paulo. “You’re older than me, but you have a lot more hair,” the president joked, to which the American intellectual responded with a smile, according to the account of the meeting published by Folha de S.Paulo. But the bad news for the leftist president and former union leader is that environmental officials, who have been protesting since January to demand salary increases and career restructuring, have toughened his mobilization. From now on, they paralyze all their activities in five states except those that are emergencies, such as putting out fires or caring for those affected by floods. The total strike, which began in Acre, Espírito Santo, Pará, Paraíba and Río Grande do Norte, is expected to extend to the rest of the country starting next week.

The task of these inspectors is central for Brazil to develop its environmental policy, one of the pillars of its foreign policy, and to achieve the goals it has set for issues such as the deforestation of the Amazon.

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