A few days before the start of classes, The national government confirmed that it will not transfer the money from the National Teacher Incentive Fund (FONID) to the provinces.. Devalued salaries, schools with enormous infrastructure problems, cafeterias with insufficient and poorly nutritious food and its continuity still unconfirmed, very high levels of poverty in children and adolescents.

A profound adjustment is underway for all working people. This Wednesday the justice confirmed something obvious: the strike is a constitutional right. Education is not a service, it is a right. The CTERA has been denouncing this situation, but it is not enough. It is necessary to debate in assemblies in all schools, together with the community, throughout the country how to confront this plan.

On February 9, the provincial Ministers of Education – who have been the guarantors of the adjustment in each of their provinces– They wrote a letter to the Secretary of Education, Carlos Torrendell. There you They expressed “concern” about the lack of transfer of the Teacher Salary Compensation Fundwhich is charged by the provinces of Catamarca, Chubut, Corrientes, Jujuy, La Rioja, Misiones and Santiago del Estero.

These are the National Teacher Incentive Fund (FONID), the Connectivity and Teaching Material salary items, but also the national educational programs (including the extension of the school day) and the Infrastructure Fund. In the letter, the ministers regretted “the lack of certainty about the present and future scenario regarding the continuity of the transfers of the aforementioned funds, in such a way as to be able to seriously outline educational policy in our jurisdictions.”

Governors of different political stripes want to transfer responsibility to the national government, but It is the provinces centrally that pay the teacher salary, due to the legal scheme of the educational laws inherited from the ’90s.of decentralization, that no government, of any political sign, changed.

While those same governors are ready to continue bidding for large profits for their own businessmen from the countryside, from agropower, from the oil, fishing and mining, wine or sugar industry, etc. -as was already demonstrated throughout the negotiations of the failed omnibus law- they regret that there are no funds for salaries and the educational budget. It is a fight that we will have to fight from each school, each community, because we will not be able to expect much from these officials.

The FONID represents a percentage of the salary earned by more than 1.65 million teachers throughout the country in the formal educational system, from the initial level to the non-university tertiary level. According to a report by the Observatory of Argentines for Education, this fund represented 14.16% of the national educational budget in 2023 (extended to 2024). Qfrozen budgets by President Javier Milei and Minister Luis Caputto at the request of the IMF, which were already below inflation during the government of Alberto Fernández, Sergio Massa and Cristina Kirchner. These are amounts vastly exceeded after the devaluations that will have repercussions, for example, on national universities that will not be able to pay salaries.

The lack of sending educational funds to the provinces occurs in a context where the Milei government suffered its first defeat. The Omnibus law fell without votes in Congress. The governors withdrew their support so as not to bear the costs of the adjustment after the national strike, and the mobilizations in the streets led by neighborhood assemblies, combative unions and the left, who were a decisive factor in the outcome of this first battle. This same government wants revenge with more attacks on working people. Public education must be defended with this strength and this unity.

With the omnibus law defeated and the labor chapter of the DNU suspended by a precautionary measure, the attack that involved declaring education as an essential service is stopped. But Milei seeks through all the interstices to continue advancing towards an educational model at the service of the marketmeritocratic and individualistic and with its workers without labor rightsas proposed by international credit organizations and large employers.

Essentiality does not mean for these governments that education has a larger budget, that boys and girls eat every day, that there are salaries that cover the basic basket, that there are schools in good condition, but rather a direct attack on the right to strike. And, to add, in the last document, after a long silence of Cristina Fernández de Kirchnerthe same suggestion is made, joining the campaign against the right to strike.

The reality is that schools continue to fall apart, salaries are devalued, while we have to face increases in transportation rates of around 250%, high rates for electricity, gas, water and electricity are coming. an impossible and prohibitive school basket for the majority of working families, who see their salary liquidate day by day.

There are provinces in which the teacher salary is based on the indigence lineguaranteed by a very late guarantee clause. In this context there cannot be any normality at the beginning of the school year.

The scene in the provinces

In some provinces, education workers have already voted for measures of struggle and strikes.

In Santa Faith where Governor Pullaro, in February, did not pay the 36% corresponding to the inflation of November and December. There is a lot of anger among the teaching base who voted for him massively. In this context, a strike is planned for February 26, the day on which the school year would begin.

In Tucumanone month before the start of classes, teaching is going on strike for 72 hours from next February 16 due to the reopening of the joint negotiation.

In Córdobafrom UEPC Capital promotes deliberative and collaborative instances of mandates and mobilization actions from schools for the 15th and 16th, which returns to schools with institutional workshops.

In Jujuyfrom the Cedems Assemblies of middle and higher level teachers were promoted. Dozens of teachers debated the joint request and highlighted the falsehood of the provincial government’s speech that “there is no money.” In contrast, they launched a “there is money” campaign.

In CABAthe teachers, who have been actively participating in the neighborhood assemblies, are promoting a union assembly Ademys for next Thursday.

In Mendoza He has already returned to schools. The province, with one of the lowest salaries in the country, is debating a salary proposal from the Cornejo government, which leaves tens of thousands on the line of destitution. The driving of HUNDREDS He agreed to lower the proposal to the schools. But the situation may be more difficult with the cut in allocations to the provinces. The Classroom Item and the repressive protocols – which Together for Change and Freedom Advances intend to nationalize – are enormous anti-strike pressure. A fighting fund is needed to be able to regain the confidence and strength to build a strike and fight for salary and budget recomposition and in defense of public education.

In Neuquen An agreement has been signed for the quarterly CPI, but as the Government increased pension and welfare contributions by position, this meant loss of out-of-pocket salary. From ATEN Capital Together with the Multisectorial, we actively participated in the actions in the streets since December 20 and a plenary session of delegates has been called for the 20th.

As we see, we are facing a complex and diverse reality, but one that faces a collective attack on the working class. A force must be put in place to defeat these plans.
And the unions? It is necessary to promote a national fight plan in defense of public education.

The CTERA published a demand to the national government to send the funds and call the national joint body. We also found out through the media about the press conference in which they announced the steps to follow. It is not the way. It was already demonstrated in the hot days of January that what is useful is to debate in assemblies, fight for unity and win the streets.

On the 22nd, an Extraordinary Congress of the entity was convened. It is urgent that the Ctera and all the provincial unions come out, call assemblies, open a process of broad debate, organization, dialogue with the community, to build the strength for this fight.

But not only that. Both the CGT who said “without national parity, classes will not begin,” like both CTA and their grassroots unions, which after the 24E strike left the streets during the days of debate in Congress against the Omnibus law (days in which the neighborhood assemblies were protagonists) have to be part of promoting the fight, with assemblies of base, sector, branch and seriously prepare measures to confront this brutal adjustment against public education.

There are forces to confront Milei and defeat his policy and that was demonstrated in a first “round” in the strike on 24E and the mobilizations against the Omnibus law that challenged Bullrich’s repressive protocol.

For it, It is essential to organize hundreds of thousands of teachers from all over the country and families from schools, uniting and coordinating with other workers, women and young people in neighborhood assemblies to build a national struggle plan that faces the attacks of Milei, the DNU and the repressive Bullrich Protocol.

Faced with the “blender” and “chainsaw” plan, it is necessary to create a program so that the crisis is paid for by economic power and financial capital. There is money, but it is taken by big businessmen (who emphasize the most every day) and the IMFwhich organizes the entire economy so that dollars are pooled to pay the debt at the expense of people’s hunger and with cuts in health, education, salaries, retirements and social assistance.

The education workers, who are in every neighborhood, locality, municipality, region, province, know first-hand the reality, we know the communities, and we can be a powerful force to organize and unite the force to fight against these plans of the government.

Source: www.laizquierdadiario.com

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