STF warns government about legal risk of giving readjustment only to police officers

Members of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) warned the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government about the legal risk of granting salary increases only to police officers, as signaled by the president.

In informal consultations carried out by Bolsonaro’s assistants, court ministers warned that approving increases for a single category could trigger a flurry of actions in the Judiciary, leading the STF to decide to extend the measure to all servers.

An eventual decision ordering the “treatment alignment” would have a billionaire impact on the Union Budget.

Today, there is a reserve of R$ 1.7 billion to grant readjustments to employees of the PF (Federal Police), PRF (Federal Highway Police) and Depen (Department of Penitentiary).

In the case of a generalized adjustment, each 1% generates an impact of R$ 3 billion, according to internal government calculations. The economic area has already expressed its opposition to a general revision of salaries.
In conversations between the government and the STF, court ministers also assessed that an increase now for civil servants would not be convenient, given the situation in the country.

Photo: Marcello Casal Jr / Agência Brasil

Members of the government itself recognize that the favorable signal given to the police may end up serving as a trigger for a “more serious crisis”.

According to interlocutors, President Jair Bolsonaro has already been warned about the risks of the decision, although there is still no definition on whether or not to continue the readjustment proposal.

On Saturday (8), in the face of greater pressure from other categories, Bolsonaro changed his tone and said that the readjustment “is not guaranteed for anyone”.

The police reacted and started talking about the president’s betrayal, if he gives up on the promise of increasing the categories, which are an important pillar of Bolsonaro’s electoral base.

Government interlocutors claim that restructuring the careers of these corporations had already been under discussion for four months.

The government’s formal request to the National Congress to reserve resources in the Budget for the readjustment of police categories, however, set the other groups on fire, which now demand equal treatment.

As the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper showed, at least 19 categories of civil servants may begin to paralyze activities to increase pressure against the government for salary readjustments, after the president’s favorable signal to the police.

Fonacate (Permanent National Forum for Typical State Careers) says that unions in these categories support their workers to suspend work in three days – on January 18, 25 and 26 (calendar approved by Fonacate on December 29).

Assemblies still need to be held in the coming days to confirm the adhesions, which is expected in most cases by the forum’s leaders. In addition to the already planned outages, the servers will discuss a possible strike in February.

Fenajufe, the representative federation of the Federal Judiciary and the Federal Public Ministry, also decided to move and requests a hearing to ask the president of the STF, Minister Luiz Fux, to defend isonomy in the granting of readjustments, as shown the Panel column, from Folha de S.Paulo.

Federal medical experts, in turn, called a meeting for January 24 to decide whether or not the category will go on strike for salary increases.

While Bolsonaro promises salary readjustments to federal police officers, about 1 million active servers, retirees and pensioners have had their pay frozen for five years. The last increase tranche for this group was granted on January 1, 2017.

They are employees of bodies such as Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), Ipea (Institute of Applied Economic Research), Funai (National Indian Foundation), Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency), in addition to of medical and pension-related careers.

The categories in this group had an average increase of 10.8%, spread over two years (2016 and 2017). Another 253 thousand servers had the last adjustment applied on January 1, 2019. It was the fourth installment of an average total increase of 27.9%.

The Federal Police and the Federal Highway Police are in this second group. Together, the two corporations have 45,300 active and inactive servers, according to data from the Statistical Panel of Personnel of the Ministry of Economy.

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