Corruption in Brazil #3A – Teachers` strike – a follow-up

Teachers` strike – a follow-up

Firstly a correction from my post of yesterday. In fact the teachers are on strike in Rio State ONLY at the moment. There were teachers` strikes all over Brazil in 2013 and 2014 and last year (2015) there were some strikes in Rio and Sao Paulo at the same time. I was correct, however, that there are other groups on strike at the moment, other than teachers.

The photographs I used in yesterday`s post are probably therefore from 2015 when I know that the strikes led to riotous behaviour from non-teachers. The photographs are on the Telegraph website on today`s date as well as yesterday`s, without ANY reference to when they were taken, so they are clearly misleading. The only thing suggesting the fact that they are not current photos is a brief comment on the website that “comments on this photo gallery are now closed”. Just shows how careful one has to be when using internet sources for information. Sorry if I misled you in turn!!

It turns out that, as of this morning, the Rio State government can now make an offer to teachers to pay them at least on the due date each month because the state has been granted some money from the federal government. It seems, however, that this is merely an attempt to break the strike because it ONLY applies to teachers and not the support staff in schools who are in exactly the same boat. “Divide and rule” are the watchwords here, but I gather the teachers` union is not likely to be bamboozled by this and it looks as though the strike is set to continue.

The rules here are interesting, by the way, in that the teachers will probably not be deducted any pay for the period they are on strike. If such payments were deducted it would mean that the Rio State government could not then insist that the teachers should “catch up” with time lost by the students. Thus they carry on paying, but will then insist that teachers use the long summer holiday in January, through to Carnival time in February 2017 to catch up with their subject areas. So, Fatima will not be able to take a long break next year to visit UK at Christmas and New Year – looks like I will be here in Brazil through the hottest month of January!! PHEW, what a scorcher! I told you this strike was becoming personal.

By the way, a little extra information on the reaction to the teachers strikes LAST year. Apparently the Governor of Sao Paulo state, Geraldo Alckmin, indicated that teachers in State schools should be teaching their students “for love” not money. If they wanted money they should be getting teaching jobs in the private sector!!


His intervention, however, backfired nicely on him. The union came back at him and indicated that if it were appropriate for teachers to do their jobs for love, it was even more appropriate that politicians did THEIR jobs for love and not for money. They should carry on working for their day jobs and only get involved with politics when they retired and did not ask for any recompense. The union also pointed out that often politicians are much LESS qualified than teachers themselves. Hmmm, put that in your pipe Senhor Alckmin!

About Keith Melton - Green Lib Dem

Retired English liberal environmentalist living in Nottinghamshire; spent six years in Brazil. Author of Historical Novel - Captain Cobbler: the Lincolnshire Uprising 1536. Active member of the Green Liberal Democrats - (pressure group in Liberal Democrats) - was Founding Chair of GLD in 1988
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