The strike at federal Universities and Institutes

Image: Maksym Harbar
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By ROBERTO LEHER*

The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table

The strikes at Federal universities, CEFETs[1] and the Federal Institutes of Technological Education (IFET)[2], joined the Technical and Administrative Staff of Universities,[3] creating a national strike. After delaying measures and impromptu meetings, representatives from the Ministry of Public Service Management and Innovation presented a proposal on 15/05/24, rejected by almost the entire ANDES-SN and SINASEFE base.

These entities, however, presented their counterproposals to the government on 27/05/24 with an order of magnitude of resources slightly higher than those forwarded. However, despite the convergence effort, the unions' alternative has not yet been examined by the ministry, as it unilaterally and untimely signed an “agreement” on the same date with Proifes.

The attempt to use an entity self-proclaimed Proifes, as if it were a legitimate and legal organization to sign a term of agreement for the strike of federal educational institutions,[4] rejected by almost all assemblies to put an end to the ongoing strike by Federal institutions, it was not just a shot in the foot, as the representative of the Ministry of Management and Innovation acknowledged, on 27/05/24.

Reveals a disconcerting lack of knowledge about the forms of union organization in universities and IFETs[5] – represented, respectively, by ANDES-SN and SINASEFE, and chooses to ignore and delegitimize the actions of male and female teachers and technicians and administrators who, amid the silence and fear of an important part of society and even relevant sectors of universities and institutes, dared to resist the fascistization process throughout Jair Bolsonaro's government.

The main demonstration against Jair Bolsonaro's government was the “Education Tsunami” in 2019[6] which brought together thousands of protesters across the country. In these demonstrations were those who are on strike today, alongside the exciting student leadership. They did not hear the teflon pans (as in the song by Ignacio Copani[7]) of those who today are trying to defeat the movement fighting for the future of universities and institutes. Likewise, in 2022, in the few massive demonstrations in public spaces in favor of Lula's election, a vibrant part that gave life to Lula da Silva's campaign was led by students and those currently on strike.

The attempt to defeat the strike in 58 universities through an agreement with a Pelega entity (pelego here in the dictionary sense[8]) or registry office, which is not even legal due to its lack of representation in universities and IFETs (it has only five base unions, four of which rejected the government proposal signed by Proifes),[9] as recognized in court decisions that render the said agreement null and void,[10] was celebrated by those who defend the operational university (Marilena Chaui[11]) or the contracted university (João Carlos Salles, 2024[12]) and, above all, by the heralds of austerity who were able to affirm that the government has the strength and courage to tighten the primary spending tourniquet within the framework of the Sustainable Fiscal Regime.

Why the government and the PT Executive itself[13] Did they choose to illegitimately and rudely defeat the strike movement, obviously in favor of the best hopes announced by Lula da Silva's victory, in favor of those who, in the first political bump, will be cowering in obsequious silence and even comfortable with possible setbacks? It is possible to assume that they assessed that the strikers are not PT members and want to be an auxiliary force for the extreme right.

But this would reveal a dangerous inability to analyze the PT and the government. There are many PT members on strike, as seen in the petition signed by their activists[14]. It is necessary to agree that it would be a very peculiar assessment in a government that, due to the circumstances, has many, many right-wing representatives in key positions, including organizers of the 2016 coup.

It is empirically demonstrable that all those who are fighting for the future of the public university and IFETs were on the front line of the polysemic democratic left that truly supported Lula's election. And even more, they form a social base willing to rise up against any attempt to destabilize their government. In his public demonstrations, the President of the Republic has pointed to a policy of dialogue with those who fight for social rights, which increases the contrast with the decision taken by the Ministries of Management and, certainly, of Education.

This short text argues that there is a lack of political direction, in the Gramscian sense of intellectual and moral direction, that connects the Lula government with its effective social base and, therefore, the attempt to remove from the political table those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro and those who were taking to the streets in defense of his election is a gesture that constitutes great politics. The size of the disconnection can be sadly gauged by the failure of the manifestation of 1o of May in São Paulo, in 2024, which unfortunately accentuated the difference in the convening capacity of the Centrals and the PT and allies in relation to that of the extreme right in the country.

The option for austerity (Mattei, 2023)[15] its corollary is the distancing of the working classes from any influence over the bastions of power within the State (Poulantzas, 1981)[16], denoting the attempt to remove universities and institutes from the nation project through severe starvation (discussed below) in a context in which these institutions, responsible for the most complex and systematic human formation, and for the bulk of the production of scientific and technological knowledge, artistic and cultural, can be defining of the type of nation we project for the future.

The purpose of defeating the strike movement through a simulacrum of agreements with a local entity is not an act of ordinary petty politics, but, as noted, it is a worrying act in relation to the remainder of the Lula da Silva government as a government transitioning to a new lasting level of economic and political democracy.

Next, three fundamental principles are discussed that accentuate the setback of the Pelego agreement: the importance of intergenerational solidarity; the State's duty to guarantee public education, and the place of universities in the future of democracy in Brazil.

University: an intergenerational institution

The right and political value of intergenerational solidarity[17] result from the historical struggle of the working classes, recognized in several Constitutions as one of the pillars of modern citizenship. It involves responsibility, the obligations of current generations to those before and after them. Specifically, this value was materialized by social security law. It is opposed to “every man for himself” and the logic of “all against all”, or, what is the same, the maximization of benefits for groups of current generations to the detriment of most previous and future generations. This right condenses a certain correlation of forces in which the working class overcomes a particularistic conception and seeks a solidary societal horizon and the search for a universal common.

In the extraordinary period of struggles for political and economic democracy, between 1975 and 1988, the Federal Constitution conceived social security as a fundamental right (Art. 6). In the original text, art. 40, established that in public service:

§ 4 – Retirement benefits will be reviewed, in the same proportion and on the same date, whenever the remuneration of active employees is modified, with any benefits or advantages subsequently granted to active employees being also extended to inactive employees, including when resulting from transformation or reclassification of the position or function in which the retirement occurred, in accordance with the law.

Austerity operators (Mattei, 2023) took actions to reverse the precept of § 4, art. 40. Initially, through EC 20/1998 under the Cardoso government (which reconfigured the regime itself based on the principle of actuarial balance), followed by EC 41/2003 under the Lula da Silva government, and in 2013, through the institution of the Complementary Pension for Public Servants, established by Law 12.618, of April 30, 2012, and already under the government of Jair Bolsonaro, by EC 103/2019.

The achievement of 1988, although severely limited because it did not include all workers, served as a beacon for the struggles of the working class in defense of the universality of the right to parity, however, for this reason it was entirely deconstituted by the social security counter-reforms.

The beneficiaries of the counter-reforms, the principle of balance, as well as the end of full retirement (2003) and the creation of private pension funds, were the capitalists specialized in the capital trade of money. In summary: the correlation of forces that ensured the rights of public servants in 1988 was changed, for reasons that cannot be explored in this text. The fact is that austerity policies, the vast transformation of unions and parties and, later, the 2016 coup (EC 95/2016, labor reform) and the election of Jair Bolsonaro (new pension counter-reform), made it possible to reverse important achievements of 1988.

University as an intergenerational institution

In the case of federal universities and, more broadly, throughout the federal network, the value of intergenerational solidarity, in addition to being an ethical value, is a principle of academic organization in which a community with shared interests must be forged, for the benefit of science, art, culture and technology. The possibility of systematic, subtle, deep interactions between generations makes up the core of the university.

The coexistence of young teachers, technicians and administrators and students with the generations that precede them is a precious value. In the case of teaching, the career has classes and levels, which denote different generational contexts and academic experience. A professor, when positioned in the Holder class, has the institutional recognition that his place in the institution includes theoretical, epistemological and institutional experiences that incorporate practices and knowledge from previous generations. The different generations that coexist provide dialogues that condense experiences (in the sense of EP Thompson[18]) that configure the particular mediations of university life. The soul of the university, in this perspective, is intergenerational.

The involvement of a teacher or a technician and administrator in university life and basic education is a political option and a love for humanity. Necessarily integral, passionate, concentrated, as the research, extension and teaching and learning processes require. The retirement guarantee, under the original terms of art. 40 of the CF, is imperative. Although teachers are highly qualified civil servants, among those with the highest qualifications in the public service, everyone who chooses university life knows that they will not have the means to accumulate assets and investments that ensure a dignified retirement. Full and equal retirement that values ​​the construction of a career as a public servant dedicated to university life is a constitutive part of academic life, as it allows for the exclusive dedication achieved through the struggles of the generations that precede those of the majority of the current teaching category.

In 2003, trends that were active in ANDES-SN that supported, in the name of the governability of the Lula da Silva government, the reform of civil servants' pensions imposed on the new generations (a substantial part of teachers currently in activity) a pension system in which they would lose their full retirement, forcing them to look to the financial market to supplement their pensions (Funpresp). The support of these sectors for the 2003 counter-reform presupposed the rupture of their pensions with that of future young teachers.

Career, the usefulness of skinning

The main change in the career path of teachers currently in effect resulted from the undemocratic outcome of a long and participatory strike across 60 universities over 125 days in 2012.[19] The signing of this “agreement” in the absence of the vast majority of teachers who rejected the proposal in their assemblies, not only disrupted the internal coherence of the career due to arbitrary readjustments but, which is of utmost importance, effected a new break in intergenerational solidarity .

The same sectors, now partially organized in Proifes and in other currents internal to ANDES-SN, after 'rifling' the young teachers who joined the context of Reuni, turned, this time, against the already retired ones who contributed to achieving retirement full in 1988, that is, they turned against their former teachers by signing an agreement (rejected throughout the country) that separated the remuneration of teachers who had previously retired at the career ceiling (then called Adjunct IV). The agreement with Proifes disregarded the essential importance of ensuring parity in the context of the addition of two new classes in the new career (Associate and Holder), an addition that was a legitimate demand and was part of the ANDES-SN agenda.

However, in the National Union's career proposal, the incorporation of new classes would occur with the transfer of retirees in the original terms of art. 40 of the CF: extending “to inactive employees any benefits or advantages subsequently granted to active civil servants, including when arising from the transformation or reclassification of the position or function in which retirement occurred”.

Distinctly, in the undemocratic agreement with Proifes, the text of the law involved the exclusion of retirees:

Law 12.772/2012: Art. 32. Art. 137 of Law No. 11.784, of 2008, comes into force with the following wording: "Art. 137. The positioning of retirees and pensioners in the remuneration tables contained in […] of this Law, respectively, will be referenced to the situation in which the employee was on the date of retirement or in which the pension originated, respecting the changes related to positions arising from specific legislation”.

From the point of view of studies on work and trade unionism, an inventive and rigorous academic field, the movement of rupture between active and retired employees expresses a discontinuity in relation to the process of democratization, of unions' autonomy in relation to the State and the governments constructed by the “new unionism”, after 1978, configuring the phenomenon of the persecution of State unionism in the service of government particularisms, a phenomenon studied more than 70 years ago by Evaristo de Moraes Filho.[20]

More than two decades later, as seen, the same stance comes back to the fore. During the 2024 strike, a crucial strike for democracy, as discussed below, the same sectors update the break in the value of intergenerational solidarity, indicating the signature and support for a term of agreement that leaves out retirees, as in 2024, the corrections only apply to items (food assistance, daycare, etc.) that do not apply to retirees and pensioners. The Lula government, being able to repair a serious historical injustice, the exclusion of retirees, with the agreement with Proifes reaffirms the breach of a fundamental value.

Austerity and financing

Austerity, conceptualized here based on Clara Mattei (2023), is not limited to fiscal adjustment, as it aims to remove the working classes from public affairs, undoing popular sovereignty, which is done by interdicting the influence of workers over real spaces of power within the State (Poulantzas, 1981). The erosion of popular sovereignty, Mattei shows us, also occurs through the refunctionalization of public institutions through privatization and the supremacy of the particularistic interests of political forces (as, in Brazil, in many parliamentary amendments) and private-mercantile intentions.

Going against the current of established political and economic thought, Mattei (2023) locates the roots of austerity in fascism and its deepening in far-right autocratic governments. The main laboratory for updating the austerity doctrine, developed by the Chicago School, was the neoliberal experiment during the Pinochet dictatorship. Currently, the extreme right presents itself as an alternative and anti-systemic, fighting the austerity practiced by center-left governments in order to, in power, deepen it through envelopes such as anarcho-capitalism using coercion.

Based on a broad survey of elections in different regions of the world, Huebscher et. al. (2022)[21] prove that progressive governments that follow austerity make so-called anti-systemic parties grow, mainly on the extreme right. As argued in this article, the demobilization and political devaluation of the social base linked to social struggles make governments hostage to precepts that are increasingly hostile to workers, disconnecting the most politically active social base from the government, even though it undertakes relief actions to poverty.

Austerity and university

The totalizing hegemony of austerity means: (i) The prohibition of the influence of universities in the private spaces of the power bloc (Central Banks, Secretariats for the economic and tax areas, etc.) (Poulantzas, 1981), leaving them on the margins of the real centers State decision-making; (ii) the unfeasibility of university autonomy, as it keeps institutions in artificial respiration, which strengthens the option for providing services, generally of zero epistemological and theoretical relevance.

(iii) Refunctionalizes universities, moving them away from the epistemological and logical debate of science, from technological development to strengthen the sovereignty of people, from teacher training and from the great dilemmas of humanity, and (iv) demobilizes and disarticulates the sectors that, from within the institutions, they could be an organizing force of the critical university, as opposed to the reflex modernization referred to by Darcy Ribeiro (1969).[22]

Austerity, including budgetary austerity, erects a technocracy in the Ministries of Education and S&T adapted to cultural heteronomy and the secondary, or irrelevant, place of public universities in the nation's project, depriving universities of the vibrancy of life.

After being fiercely persecuted under Jair Bolsonaro's government, federal universities have had their infrastructure destroyed, the salaries of teachers, technicians and administrators have suffered immense losses (30%), and student assistance remains incipient. In this sense, the strike faces the austerity policies instituted as a condition for the support of dominant bourgeois fractions for the very broad front against Jair Bolsonaro.

Budget restrictions arise from the Sustainable Fiscal Regime that seeks to establish zero deficits and surpluses in the coming years, reducing, year after year, social spending (social spending can only grow by the equivalent of 70% of tax revenues, with a ceiling of 2,5 %), a measure that traps the government in the web of austerity.[23] As spending on education and health is constitutionally linked to tax revenue, the expansion of spending on these two areas narrows the space for primary spending on agrarian reform, science and technology, culture, art, sanitation, the country's infrastructure, etc.

The budget crisis therefore denotes a reality that, if not transformed, will lead us to a situation of loss of the private mediations that shape university life (characterized by Salles, 2024, as contracted university).

Studies with specific methodologies corroborate the budgetary bottleneck of IFES.

graphic 1

As can be seen from graph 1, during REUNI's expansion period (2007-2014), funding resources increased significantly, from R$4 billion to approximately R$9,5 billion, resources that made it possible to double the number of students at federal universities, although a substantial part of the growth in funding resources has been directed towards spending on outsourced personnel for functions that were previously the responsibility of public servants (security, drivers, vivariums, university restaurants, etc.).

However, in the context of the change in the economic policy of the Dilma Rousseff (Joaquim Levy) government, the funding budgets suffered a strong inflection that was severely deepened after the 2016 coup (EC-95) and the cultural war budget with Jair Bolsonaro . As already in 2014 the funding funds were not enough for the ordinary accounts, strongly impacted by administered prices (energy) and outsourcing contracts, the situation became extremely serious from 2015 to the present day, which explains joining the national strike.

The picture was even worse in investment resources. The investment budget is crucial to analyzing the place of universities in the nation's project, as they are the resources that build the future of institutions, such as new laboratories, work offices, classrooms, student housing, university restaurants and heavy infrastructure, such as power stations, IT and internet networks etc.

graphic 2

It is possible to infer that the cuts during the Joaquim Levy period were devastating for the Federal Government. The amount of resources, as can be seen in graph 2, was already negligible in 2014 (around R$ 1,5 billion for all 69 federal universities), and plummeted to a tiny R$ 900 million in 2015 due to the strong contingency. Since then, with EC 95 and Jair Bolsonaro's war budget, the erosion of the future has been merciless and brutal, part of the cultural war.

After the harsh period of autocratic austerity in Brazil (2016-2022), the budget for Federal universities in 2024 remains the same as the war budget, and even lower than that of Jair Bolsonaro's neo-fascist government, a period in which universities were in cultural war theater of operations.

Table 1- Costing and executed capital budget and LOA (2024) of federal universities, corrected values ​​January 2024- IPCA-IBGE (billions)

YearExecuted budget
2014* R$ 10,1
2020 R$ 7,5
2022 R$ 6,8
2023 R$ 6,5
2024 R$ 5,9 (LOA)
Source: Indicators collected from Sou_Ciência[24] and Andifes[25]
(*) The year 2014 helps to understand budget shrinkage

Demobilization and discouragement caused by the degradation of infrastructure (many buildings, literally, are crumbling) and dropout rates reach dramatic levels, especially due to the absence of student assistance policies on a scale compatible with the imperative and exciting changes in the social and racial profile of students , on the one hand and, on the other, the disarticulation of universities from relevant dialogues with the “bastions of power” referred to by Poulantzas, 1981, if not addressed, could increase the general dismay in the social base that elected Lula da Silva in the universities (and IFET).

Those who fought courageously against Jair Bolsonaro's government, including facing the “progressive” sectors that insisted that the best path was adaptation in the face of the destruction of the university, are eager for a political turn in which universities would assume a new type of protagonism, as it would involve a vast process of popular education to face the capillarization of far-right ideologies in Brazilian society and the call on public universities, science and technology institutions, the entire field of culture and arts, to reinvent the future, breaking with the austerity ideology.[26]

The control of the MEC by business foundations, in particular, by staff from (or partners of) the Lemann Foundation, is a disappointment for millions of teachers, technicians and administrators and students in basic and higher education. It will not be with the ideologies of employability, socio-emotional skills, and innovation that refunctionalize the university (see Future-se)[27] that education will be converted into a field in which democracy is cultivated. Meanwhile, algorithms are being improved and the virtual apparatus of the extreme right is advancing more and more each day in constituting the common sense of Brazilian society.

Institutionalization of the private-mercantile sector

Although it is not the objective of the article to develop the theme of commodification, it is necessary to point out, briefly, that the constructive dialogue between the Federal government and the movement of public universities and IFETs is a crucial part of the affirmation of democracy. In effect, commercialized education is incapable of ensuring critical training that encourages the inventive imagination of young people, which is crucial for the construction of alternatives in the face of humanity's great dilemmas. It causes extreme concern that Brazil is at the global forefront of new-type commodification under the control of investment funds and the world's largest companies. private equity (Leher, 2022)[28]. This process results in the concentration of enrollments in low-cost modalities offered to the working class. According to Bielschowski (2023), “60,5% of admissions to private HEIs in 2020 were in distance learning, of which 80% are in the ten largest private groups”[29].

graphic 3 – Number of entrants to undergraduate courses 2012-2022

It is disheartening that the tax reform of the third Lula government constitutionalizes transfers from the public fund to Prouni: EC 132/2023 allows tax reductions and exemptions that favor private-commercial education, especially through the 100% exemption of social contributions to ProUni (EC no. 132, art. 9, III).

These are the reports from educational-financial corporations themselves and consultancies linked to international financial institutions that recognize that tax exemptions for for-profit institutions and the transfer of resources from the public fund to the private commercial sector have leveraged internationalized commodification. And the option to expand the private-mercantile sector was not an unforeseeable side effect, as it resulted from policies explicitly aimed at strengthening the market, such as the inclusion of for-profit institutions in PROUNI, an aberration in the face of the constitutional text.

Furthermore, the deliberate laxity of educational legislation boosted the commercialization of education: it did not block the entry of national and foreign investment funds; allowed the trading of shares of educational companies on the stock exchange; made the offer of distance degrees more flexible. Graph 4, below, explains the commercial expansion in Brazil, a situation aggravated by the stagnation of public higher education.

graphic 4– Enrollment in undergraduate courses by administrative category – Brazil 2012-2021

Conclusion

The dynamics of proposals and counter-proposals are ongoing in the context of the Federal Strike, however, there is a lack of political direction to connect the government with social struggles. The blocking of the simulacrum of agreement by court decisions, and the reiteration of the continuity of negotiations by Andes-SN and Sinasefe, are openings for the Federal government – ​​and here Lula da Silva's political sensitivity in the negotiations would be crucial – to carry out a necessary course correction. The injustice of excluding young teachers from full retirement is a problem to be overcome in new agendas.

The destruction of the full retirement of teachers who, after all, created the Constitution and the strong expansion of science, technology and art and culture in the country, through a pernicious agreement with the aforementioned skin entity in 2012, can now be partially corrected. It should be a source of pride for the government that today's teachers, technicians and administrators express appreciation for such an important value as intergenerational solidarity and, therefore, continue to fight for reparation, even if partial, for an anti-university act contained in the career of teaching.

The strike is also a sign that the university community, or its most militant and fierce core in favor of the future of the public university, is persevering with the budget recovery agenda. The indicators presented here confirm that it is not possible to postpone a solution to the budget decline worsened by the cultural war. It is not certain that this would change the basis of the budget, as in a decade FIES has already cost more than R$100 billion in implicit subsidies and bond repurchases.

In the last decade, the Federal Governments lost around R$100 billion in budgetary funds due to budget reductions and contingencies. Income tax exemptions for families' private educational expenses will cost R$22 billion in 2025 alone, according to the PLOA. The resources claimed in the strike for the universities established by the Andifes agenda are a paltry R$2,5 billion, which denotes a very low agenda, as, strictly speaking, they only keep the universities' artificial respiration devices connected.

The so-called Sustainable Fiscal Regime, in the coming years, will shrink the budget for investments in science and technology and the deconstitutionalization of funds for education is not ruled out, measures that will bring extremely serious consequences for education, science, technology, art and culture in the country. Global austerity policies do not hide the intention of harmonizing with the extreme right as a way of managing capitalism in crisis and, therefore, the ambition of austerity with a human face is not sustainable.

It is necessary to reflect on the meaning of trying to attack the sectors that, within universities, seek to strengthen their relevance and that of institutes with the great problems of the people, aiming, in Darcy Ribeiro's terms, for a future of 'people for themselves', as a foundation of democracy that can defeat, even at the level of common sense, the fascistization of the country.

Real negotiation with legitimate interlocutors is a necessary condition to keep the flame of transformative desire of the social base linked to great popular causes alive. Making a mistake here, objectively, will have consequences that will not mean a defeat for those who are fighting in universities and IFETs, but for all those who dare to fight against the extreme right, a specter that haunts the world.

Who is interested in weakening those who fight in defense of the radical decommodification of education? Without pulsating public institutions conceived as strategic for the future, all youth will be subjected to the barbarity of alienated mercantilized education and loaded with reactionary ideologies that could pave the way for the extreme right. There is still time!

Roberto Leher, biologist and pedagogue, he is a professor and former dean of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Author, among other books, of University and cultural heteronomy in dependent capitalism (Consequence). [https://amzn.to/3Ra7SiV]

Notes


[1] Launched on 15/04/24, by the National Union of Teachers of Higher Education Institutions – ANDES-SN, covering 58 institutions, five of which are from Proifes-Fedação.

[2] Launched by SINASEFE on 3/04/24, covering 79 union sections and 550 units.

[3] Launched on 11/03/24, Fasubra, with equally national coverage.

[4] On the agenda of the ANDES-SN federal teaching strike is the salary adjustment to compensate for inflationary losses of 30%, the restructuring of the teaching career, the recomposition of the budget for IFES and the revocation of authoritarian measures by the Temer and Bolsonaro governments.

[5] For a general overview of the strike movement, see Henrique Saldanha's careful study The federal teaching strike, the dilemmas of the national teaching movement and the need to defeat the policies and methods of PROIFES-Federation. Esquerda Online, 29/05/24, https://esquerdaonline.com.br/2024/05/29/a-greve-docente-federal-e-o-papel-da-proifes-federacao/

[6] Education Tsunami: Protests take place in all states and in DF. Andes-SN website, Published on May 16, 2019, https://www.andes.org.br/conteudos/noticia/tsunami-da-educacao-protestos-acontecem-em-todos-os-estados-e-no-dF1. See also: Student protests in Brazil in 2019, https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestos_estudantis_no_Brasil_em_2019

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZemS_7eVNY

[8] A starting point for the term “pelego” can be seen in Caldas Aulete: “Union member co-opted by employers or government bodies”. However, the term is contextualized in Infopedia (Porto Editora): (…) O Estado Novo developed a modernization policy. To this end, it encouraged industrial production and promoted exports. The difficulties in developing this plan came from a proletarianized mass and from unions that demanded class rights. The activity of anarchists in the country added to the destabilization of the situation. The solution found was the creation of the figure of the pelega. His mission was to present government measures to the workers in a convincing way. To this end, he invoked the interests of the nation (…). https://www.infopedia.pt/artigos/$peleguismo

[9] Lawrence Estivalet de Mello and Renata Queiroz Dutra. Strike at the Federals. Five lessons about the invalidity of the Proifes agreement with the federal government. Forum Magazine, 30/05/24, https://revistaforum.com.br/debates/2024/5/30/cinco-lies-sobre-invalidade-do-acordo-da-proifes-com-governo-federal-por-lawrence-estivalet-de-mello-renata-queiroz-dutra-159686.html

[10] The Federal Court, in Sergipe (TRF5), decided, this Wednesday (29/5/24), in urgent protection, that the agreements between the Federal Union and Proifes/Fedação do not have legal validity for the teaching category, because this entity cannot act as a legitimate representative of teachers before the Federal Union. Likewise, the Federal Court, in Brasília (TRF1), had already decided, definitively, that SINASEFE, and not Proifes, is the legitimate union representative of teaching and technical-administrative employees who carry out their activities in Federal Education Institutions Basic, Professional and Technological, as well as employees of Military Schools and former EBTT territories. It follows from these decisions, which have effects throughout the national territory, that the agreement signed by Proifes with the Ministry of Management and Innovation on Monday (27/5/24) suffers from defects and irregularities (Mello and Dutra, op. cit.). 

[11] https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-universidade-operacional/

[12] João Carlos Salles. Oza's hand. The earth is round, 14/05/24, https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-mao-de-oza/

[13] Valter Orchard. https://www.brasil247.com/blog/feijoo-elege-o-proifes.

[14] Letter to the PT Executive, 30/05/24.

[15] MATTEI, C. The order of Capital. How economists invented austerity and paved the way for fascism. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2023.

[16] POULANTZAS, N. The State, power and us. In: BALIBAR, E., POULANTZAS, N. et.al. The State under Discussion, Lisbon: Editions 70, 1981.

[17] See Fábio Comparato, Ethics, law and morals in the modern world. SP. Cia das Letras, 2006. For a systematic discussion of social security rights and their intergenerational character in capitalism, see José Miguel Bendrao Saldanha. Retirement in capitalism: peace between generations, war between classes. Doctoral thesis, Postgraduate Program in History of Sciences and Techniques and Epistemology - UFRJ, 2024.

[18] THOMPSON, Edward. The formation of the English working class. Rio de Janeiro: Peace and Land, 1987. THOMPSON, Edward. The peculiarities of the English and other articles. Campinas: Ed. da Unicamp, 2001. A sophisticated study on the author can be seen in EP Thompson and the tradition of active critique of historical materialism, Marcelo Badaro Mattos, Ed. UFRJ, 2012.

[19] The duration of the education strikes reveals the lack of importance given to governments' negotiations with teachers and technicians, very different, for example, from the prompt response to requests from the armed forces and the repressive apparatus in general, as can be seen from the agreements with the Federal Highway Police , in which, over the last four years, practices incompatible with democracy predominated.

[20] E. Moraes Filho, The problem of the single union in Brazil: its sociological foundations. 2 ed., São Paulo, Alfa-Omega, 1978. The deepening of neoliberal trade unionism was studied by Vito Giannotti in Força Sindical – the neoliberal Central (Ed. Mauad, 2003)

[21] HUEBSCHER, Evelyne and SATTLER, THOMAS and WAGNER, Markus, Does Austerity Cause Polarization? (November 17, 2022). British Journal of Political Science (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123422000734), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3541546 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3541546

[22] RIBEIRO, D. The necessary university. RJ: Paz e Terra, 1969.

[23] BASTOS, PPZ; DECCACHE, D.; ALVES Jr., AJ Will the new tax regime restrict the resumption of development in 2024? CECON Note 22, Oct. 23. Available at: https://www.eco.unicamp.br/images/arquivos/nota-cecon/bastos-p-deccache-d-alves-jr-a-2023-o-novo-regime-fiscal-restringira-a-retomada-do-desenvolvimento-em-2024-cecon-ie-unicamp-nota-23-outubro-2023.pdf.

[24] https://souciencia.unifesp.br/dados-fctesp/orcamento-universidades-federais/receita-das-universidades

[25] ANDIFES note on the 2024 federal universities budget, https://www.andifes.org.br/2023/12/23/nota-da-andifes-sobre-o-orcamento-das-universidades-federais-de-2024/#:~:text=A%20diretoria%20da%20Associa%C3%A7%C3%A3o%20Nacional,para%202024%2C%20aprovado%20pelo%20Congresso

[26] GRACE DRUCK & LUIZ FILGUEIRAS The strike at universities and federal institutes is not against the government. The earth is round, 17/05/24, https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-greve-nas-universidades-e-institutos-federais-nao-e-contra-o-governo/

[27] Leher, R.. (2021). BRAZILIAN FEDERAL PUBLIC UNIVERSITY: FUTURE AND “CULTURAL WAR” AS EXPRESSIONS OF BOURGEOIS AUTOCRACY. Education & Society, 42, e241425. https://doi.org/10.1590/ES.241425

[28] LEHER, R. Commercialization of education, precariousness of teaching work and the historical meaning of the Covid 19 pandemic. Public Policy Magazine, v. 26, no. Special, p. 78–102, 30 Dec 2022.

[29] BIELSCHOWSKY, CE Expansion of higher education in Brazil: analysis of private institutions. Carlos Eduardo Bielschowsky (coordinator). São Paulo: SoU_Ciência, 2023.


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