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Educação & Realidade

Print version ISSN 0100-3143On-line version ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.43 no.4 Porto Alegre Oct./Dec. 2018  Epub Oct 08, 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2175-623674835 

Other Themes

Career and Basic Salary of Teachers in the Education System of the City of São Paulo1

Márcia Aparecida JacominiI 

Ana Paula Santiago do NascimentoII 

Leandro ThomaziniI 

IUniversidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp), São Paulo/SP - Brazil

IIUniversidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo/SP - Brazil

ABSTRACT

This article aims to analyze the dynamics of the basic teacher’s salary in the education system of the city of Sao Paulo from 1996 through 2016, in relation to the National Minimum Wage, the Necessary Minimum Wage by DIEESE (SMN) and national Professional Starting Salary (PSPN). It is a documental and bibliographical research focusing on national and municipal legislation and on the analysis of the initial and final teachers’ base salary. It was found that although the basic salary of municipal teachers was 40 percent higher than the PSPN in 2009, in 2016 it was only 11 percent higher. The Starting Salary was also below the SMN-DIEESE in November 2016, R$ 3,550.00 and R$ 3,940.41, respectively.

Keywords Teacher Appreciation; Basic Salary; Education System of the City of São Paulo

Introduction

The 1988 Federal Constitution - CF/88 (Brasil, 1988) - and consequent legislations highlight the need to develop and appreciate professionals of K-12 education. Such appreciation would be expressed in consolidating the Career Plans, the National Starting Salary, entry into the civil service by means of public contests with tests and academic degree, basic and continued teacher training, among other aspects1.

A study by Gatti and Barretto (2009) found that, until the late 1990´s, most cities in Brazil did not have a career plan for teachers in K-12 education.

The Constitutional Amendment (EC) No. 14/1996 (Brasil, 1996a), which created the Fund for Maintenance and Development of Elementary/Middle School and Teacher Appreciation (Fundef), provided that at least 60 percent of the fund should be destined to pay the salary of acting teachers form elementary/middle schools.

Ten years after Fundef was established, the discussion on the appreciation of education professionals, now including all K-12 teachers and staff, was once again in debate and regulated in the country. It took place due to the creation of the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of K-12 Education and Appreciation of Education Professionals - Fundeb, EC No. 53/2006 (Brasil, 2006).

EC No. 53/2006 provided that items such as the Career Plans, entry only by public contest through tests and academic degrees and the national starting salary for teachers were mandatory, which passed in 2008 through Act No. 11738/2008 (Brasil, 2008).

The Act of the National Professional Starting Salary (PSPN), in addition to defining a minimum value to be paid to teachers as a basic salary, also regulates the composition of the working hours of such professionals, by establishing one third of the total working hours to be used in the preparation and planning of teaching activities.

By the end of 2000´s, the National Education Council established, through Report CNE/CEB No. 9/2009 (Brasil, 2009a) and through Resolution No. 2/2009 (Brasil, 2009b), the guidance and norms for the preparation and implementation of the career plans in public education systems of K-12 education.

According to Goal 18, of the National Education Plan (Brasil, 2014), states and cities should not later than 2016 provide teachers from the public school systems with a career plan. Also, in relation to the setting of a basic salary, the minimum value to be paid to the teachers, the same goals provide that the values of PSPN must be considered, as defined by Law, in January of each year, in compliance with paragraph VIII of art. 206 of the 1988 Federal Constitution.

Thus, it can be said that some legislation is in the process of being implemented and consolidated that will contribute to ensure appropriate working conditions for the teachers under the Brazilian economic and social context. If the legislation is effectively enforced, Brazilian teachers who work in the public K-12 education systems shall have their professional life regulated. This regularization should be related to a career plan with clear rules about the entry, career advancement, working hours, continued training, salary and compensation, among other aspects that make up the working conditions of such professionals and which contribute to the appreciation of the teaching career2.

The school system in the city of São Paulo (RME-SP), object of this study, has had legislation that regulates the working conditions teachers since 1975, under Act No. 8209/75 (São Paulo, 1975), which created the career of municipal teachers. However, only in 1992 teachers in the RME-SP obtained the Statute of the Municipal Teachers, Act No. 11229/92 (São Paulo, 1992).

The 1992 Statute was modified in 1993 by Act No. 11434 (São Paulo, 1993), which provides for the organization of the Educational Professional Staff in the City of São Paulo and creates career plans. A new change in both acts took place in 2007, upon Act No. 14660 (São Paulo, 2007). Also, in relation to the moves in the career, an aspect of the career plan to be analyzed herein, there was new alteration under Act No. 15963/2014 (São Paulo, 2014b) which included two new items in the salary table, thus expanding the career. The attractiveness of a career, from the viewpoint of salaries, may be analyzed by means of the initial basic salary and the possibilities of salary raise provided by the moves in the career that concern the forms of progression. Teacher’s moves in the career in RME-SP, over the last 50 years, is based on promotion for seniority and merit, horizontal moves, according to Act No. 8183/74 (São Paulo, 1974) and subsequent legislation and in the job evolution, vertical move, as established by Act No. 9874/85 (São Paulo, 1985) and subsequent legislation.

Herein, we analyze the starting salary of municipal teachers, in reference to the salary tables that are published every year or whenever there is a raise in the portion of the compensation and in the moves of the career that determines ascending advancement in terms of the values of the salary table.

For the purpose of the analyses conducted herein, in compliance with the legislation related to career plans, teacher compensation or salary is the addition of the basic wage plus the monetary advantages, either steady or transitory. The basic wage is the value received, according to the standard of each teacher, defined by his or her moves in the career. The advantages concern added values or bonuses for service time, for night school, for work in places that are difficult to reach, among others.

We will present the salary standards for each level and position in the career, in order to verify if the career is established in terms of advancements and their incidence onto the basic wage. A historical series (1996-2016) will also be reviewed so that we can verify tendencies and behaviors of the initial and final basic wage, which is the main portion of the teachers’ compensation in RME-SP.

With the purpose of obtaining a parameter to analyze the values of the basic wage paid to teachers, we will compare these values to the minimum wage (SM), the necessary minimum wage (SMN) calculated on a monthly basis by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIEESE), the values of PSPN in the period and to inflation calculated by the National Index of Consumer Prices (INPC). The goal is to verify to what extent the purchase power of municipal teachers was guaranteed and if the salaries had actual raises along the period.

The next item presents the methodological procedures followed by brief notes from studies addressing appreciation and compensation of teachers in K-12 education. Next, aspects of the career plan are presented regarding the moves in the career and the analysis of the wages in the period mentioned. We also discuss, in a subsequent item, the policy of starting salary in the education system of the city of São Paulo. In our final remarks, we indicate the dynamics of the salaries of municipal teachers in Sao Paulo in terms of professional appreciation.

Methodological Procedures

This study utilizes a documental and bibliographical search. The material for analysis is the national legislation concerning the career plan and starting salary and the local legislation related to the Teachers Statute, especially Act No. 14660, of December 26, 2007 (São Paulo, 2007), which re-organizes and consolidates the teachers career. The analysis also includes the municipal acts and decrees, which, along the period that goes from 1996 through 2016, created the salary tables of education professionals and their respective positions and levels.

For the analyses here undertaken, we considered the values of the basic salary of teachers with 40 working hours/class per week - named Integral Special Hours for Formation (JEIF) - or 30 hours/clock - called 30 Working Hours (J30)3. The values of the basic salary were compared to the Minimum Wage, to the Necessary Minimum Wage of DIEESE (SMN) and the National Professional Starting Salary (PSPN). To analyze the actual raise in those values, they have been monetarily adjusted by the National Index of Consumer Prices (INPC). When reviewing the historical series (1996-2016), we attempted to find the tendencies of the initial and final basic salary.

Teachers Appreciation and Compensation

According to the Act of Guidelines and Grounds for the National Education (LDB) - Act No. 9394, December 20, 1996 (Brasil, 1996b) -, the teacher profession, when working in K-12 education, occurs “[…] on higher education level, in a full teacher-training degree-awarding course, admitted as minimum formation to work as a teacher in child education and in the first five grades of elementary school, to be provided on high school level in the category of normal school”. This is, therefore, a profession that required specialized formation.

Despite being a piece of legislation that, since the 1988 Federal Constitution, has shown to be relatively beneficial to improve the working conditions for teachers, researchers such as Sampaio and Marin (2004), have pointed out that the working conditions of this professional remain precarious, which interferes with the social appreciation of teachers (Lüdke; Boing, 2004). In this context, the discussions about what (dis)appreciates teachers in K-12 education and studies on the teachers’ career and salaries made inroads in the academia, and the topic of salaries, usually restricted to the unions, began to be part of the academic research.

As focal points between the studies discussing the teaching profession and its appreciation, we find the social importance of such professionals and the need to appreciate them. These are deemed fundamental aspects of the quality of schooled education. The report by the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development Organization (OECD), of 2012, shows that the systems with best results at PISA are those “[…] that prioritize the salary of teachers” (OECD, 2012, p. 4). Thus, ensuring compensation compatible with the social value of the profession is a challenge for the nations that intend to reach high levels of educational quality.

Some researchers have analyzed the salary of teachers compared to other professionals with similar education level. These studies, with a variety of methodologies, not always converge into affirming that teachers are underpaid. A review conducted by Britto and Waltertenberg (2014), about international researches of comparability between teachers’ salaries and other professions, reveals that the studies are not conclusive in agreeing that teachers are paid values that are more, less or equal to other professionals with equivalent educational training. Liang (1999), for example, in his studies on Latin American countries, concludes that, expect for Brazil and Ecuador, the average salaries per working hour of teachers in the countries covered are higher than those of other professionals in the same level of education.

Concerning specific studies about Brazil, many scholars have mentioned that teachers receive salaries that are lower than what is paid to other professionals with equivalent education level. Among these studies, highlights are the ones by Moriconi (2008), Alves and Pinto (2011), Barbosa Filho and Pessoa (2011), DIEESE (2014), Barbosa (2014), Jacomini, Alves and Camargo (2016). On the other hand, Castro and Ioshpe (2007) say that Brazilian teachers get salaries compatible with those paid to professionals with same education level. In a study on the implications of Brazilian teachers’ salaries, Barbosa (2011) concluded that although it cannot be identified a direct relationship between salary and a teacher’s quality of their work, low wages tend to have a negative weight onto such relationship.

Compensation has also been considered important to arouse interest of good professionals in teaching. Leme (2012), in a study on the attractiveness of being a teacher to newcomers of higher education courses indicates the low wages coupled with adverse working conditions as one of the reasons why students are discouraged to become a teacher; “[…] low compensation is one of the causes for young people not to feel attracted to teaching” (Leme, 2012, p. 116). The author also considers that raising the salaries is an “[…] indispensable, necessary measure and, at the short term, it will certainly turn it into the most desirable profession” (Leme, 2012, p. 152). Moriconi (2008, p. 2), in a study on the attractiveness of teachers’ wages in Brazil says that, according to international research, good compensation is crucial to attract good professionals: “What seems to be consensual in the literature is the importance of compensation in attracting good professionals for the teaching career”.

Furthermore, in the scope of the discussions about teacher appreciation, there are works analyzing teachers’ salaries associated with the performance of students in large-scale assessments. Passone (2014) ponders that in this process there is a replacement of educational relationships based on ethical thinking with some kind of utilitarian morality, since this association appreciates (or not) teachers according to their potential productivity. The teaching profession has specific traits and the product of teaching - educated students - is the result of a long process involving different types of school learning, which is difficult to quantify, and is the work of countless professionals (Dalton; McIntosche; Chevalier, 2003). Ferreira and Hypolito (2010) stress that, due to these facts, it would be at least quite complex and of serious consequences to the work in the school environment, the adoption of payment by merit based on the students’ achievement in external assessments, as has been the case in some Brazilian states and cities.

It is predominant the idea that the assessment of teaching must be based on individual performance, often without considering the context within which the educative work is done and the specific nature of teaching, and that such assessments should be the grounds to establish special compensations as a way to encourage teachers. Despite that, many advocate that a teacher’s salary be defined mainly based on academic degrees, on service time and on-the-job training. There is no agreement with Morduchowicz (2003) when he proposes to look for other mechanisms to overcome the traditional forms of compensation, bearing in mind that general and homogeneous payment that suited the needs of another historical moment does not meet anymore the current needs. In addition, there is agreement with the recommendation by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of 1966 (OIT; UNESCO, 1996), which proposes objective criteria to define teachers’ salaries, taking into consideration the academic degree, seniority and the responsibility involved in the activities performed.

In the education system of the city of São Paulo, the basic salary of a teacher, according to the salary standard specified by the moves in the career, is the main portion of the compensation (Jacomini; Minhoto, 2015). Thus, looking carefully at the dynamics of this part of the salaries allows us to verify the appreciation of teachers from a monetary point-of-view. For such, the next item will review the moves in the career and the respective standards of basic salary.

Moves in the Career and the Salary Standards

In the career plans of Brazilian states and cities it can be found different words to mention the moves in the teachers’ career. In the education system of the city of São Paulo, according to the Teachers’ Statute, Act No. 14660/2007 (São Paulo, 2007), the terms utilized are promotion and job evolution (change in the capacity). Horizontal moves, called promotion, means a change in the grade, and vertical moves are the job evolution, a change in the professional category. The categories and grades are the positions in the scale of salary standards that indicate where the teacher is in her/his career, the teacher’s basic salary is defined by her/his place in the salary table. In relation to teachers, the first category is identified by number 11 increasing successively up to number 234, and the grades, horizontally organized, are represented by letter A through E.

Teachers in the education system of the city of São Paulo are allocated in categories 1 and 3, according to their academic degree. Those with specific qualification on high school level (normal school), working in child education or in the initial grades of elementary/middle school, belong to category 1. Teachers with a higher education teaching, full degree, regardless of the level of schooling they work at, belong to category 3. Thus, every teacher in category 1 who submits a higher education diploma, full degree, in the case of child education and initial grades of elementary/middle school, will be allocated in category 3 and will move forward three steps in the salary table. Joining the teacher’s career with high school level, from a normal school, allocates the teacher in category and grade 11A and a teacher with a higher education full degree in placed in 14A.

It can be observed, therefore, that there is no differentiation in the basic wage of the municipal teachers in São Paulo due to their work on different levels of school in K-12 education, which is set forth by Report CNE/CEB nº 9/2009 (Brasil, 2009).

Table 1 shows the salaries in each grade and category of a teacher in the Special Integral Hours of Formation (JEIF), corresponding to 40 hours/class (30 hours) of weekly work in October 2016.

Table 1 Table of Teachers’ Salary in JEIF, Grades and Categories - 2016 (in BR R$) Nominal Value 

Category/Degrees A B C D E
QPE 11 2,509.31 2,672.42 2,846.14 3,031.33 3,228.25
QPE 12 2,672.42 2,846.14 3,031.33 3,228.25 3,438.00
QPE 13 2,846.14 3,031.33 3,228.25 3,438.00 3,661.35
QPE 14 3,031.33 3,228.25 3,438.00 3,661.35 3,899.45
QPE 15 3,228.25 3,438.00 3,661.35 3,899.45 4,152.92
QPE 16 3,438.00 3,661.35 3,899.45 4,152.92 4,423.17
QPE 17 3,661.35 3,899.45 4,152.92 4,423.17 4,710.32
QPE 18 3,899.45 4,152.92 4,423.17 4,710.32 5,016.71
QPE 19 4,152.92 4,423.17 4,710.32 5,016.71 5,342.96
QPE 20 4,423.17 4,710.32 5,016.71 5,342.96 5,690.32
QPE 21 4,710.32 5,016.71 5,342.96 5,690.32 6,059.81
QPE 22 5,016.71 5,342.96 5,690.32 6,059.81 6,453.70
QPE 23 5,342.96 5,690.32 6,059.81 6,453.7 6,873.19

Source: decree No. 57499 (São Paulo, 2016).

In Table 1, it can be observed that the basic salary of a new teacher working 40 hours/class in October 2016, who had normal school training, was R$ 2,509.31 (11A), while a teacher with higher education diploma was paid R$ 3,031.33 (14A).

The difference between one grade and an immediately higher one and a category and one immediately higher is 6.5 percent over the teacher’s standard wage; this leads to a dispersion in the basic salary of 173.91 percent. Dispersion in the basic salary is understood as the difference between the initial and the final basic salary, that is, the first and the last wage standard in the career - in the case of the city of São Paulo: 11A and 23E in the salary scale.

The first move in the career, either vertical or horizontal, takes place after the probationary phase whose length is three years. The horizontal move - a change of grade - called promotion, may be requested by merit and seniority (any employee of the city of São Paulo is entitled to such move). For the promotion by merit, a teacher has to reach the minimum score established for the relevant grade and has to have been at least for a year in the current grade. The aspects that are taken into consideration for the points in the score are: performance assessment conducted by the immediate superior and by self-evaluation, training and activities done by the teacher outside his/her daily routine. The teacher is supposed to file the proofs of the training courses attended and the activities performed in order to compete for a promotion by merit. The counting of the points for that promotion takes place in the second half of each year, and the promotion is enforced to the beholders from January of the following year on. For the promotion by seniority, the teacher must have been for at least three years in the same letter and among the 16 percent who have been longer in the same grade. In July of every year, 16 percent of the public municipal servants of the same grade, same position and category are promoted to the immediately superior grade, based on the seniority criterion. The other way of moving forward in the career is the job evolution, which occurs in a vertical fashion. In such move, the teacher has three possible manners of evolution: by time, by academic degree and by time and academic degree combined (the latter can only be utilized in the first evolution in the career). For the evolution by time, the teacher needs to reach the minimum time necessary in each category and no other criteria are required. For the evolution by academic degree, the teacher must have the minimum score demanded in each category and must have completed a minimum interstice of a year in the category she or he is in. For the evolution by time and academic degree combined, the teacher must reach the minimum score and the time required5. The last option is interesting to teacher who have worked in the city’s education system as a commissioned teacher before been approved in a public contest.

In the first evolution in the career, upon completion of the probationary phase, the teacher may, depending on the score, take a leap, that is, go to category that is not the one immediately superior to the initial category of admission. In subsequent evolutions, there will be a one-year interstice and it will always be in the subsequent category to the one the teacher is then.

Another important aspect of the career in the city of São Paulo is that, to reach the end of the career, regarding the academic formation, it is necessary to obtain just the higher education diploma, as it is not necessary to obtain a graduate degree (specialization, master, doctoral degree).

In the light of the criteria for the vertical and horizontal moves, the breadth in the career is at least 24 years, that is, the teacher may only reach the end of the career after 24 years of effective service. It is worth reminding that, before the two last categories were created, Act No. 15963/2014, the teacher could reach the end of the career after nine years of effective service6 and, currently, she or he need to complete 23 and 24 years to get an evolution to categories 22 and 23, respectively.

Results and Discussion

Dynamics of the Basic Salary in 1996-2016 Period

The wages policy implemented by the city of São Paulo may be analyzed through the dynamics of the initial and final salaries in the period from 1996 to 2016 - for teachers with (normal) high school and higher education training -, in comparison to the values of the Minimum Wage (SM) and the Minimum Wage Necessary (SMN), calculated by DIEESE, and PSPN. Table 2 shows the initial values of the basic salary for teachers in the Education System of the City of São Paulo (RME-SP), in the Special Integral Hours of Formation (JEIF)7, the values of SM and SMN for the years of 1996 through 2016 and of PSPN from 2009 onwards.

Table 2 Initial Salaries (V.I.) and Final Salaries (V.F.) of Teachers with High School and Teacher-Training Degree (higher education) in the Education System of the City of São Paulo, Minimum Wage, Minimum Wage Necessary and Starting Salary - 1996-2016 - Values readjusted by INPC (Dec/2016) - 40 hours-class 

High-school training Higher Education Minimum Salary (SM) Min Salary Nec. - DIEESE (SMN) PSPN High-school training Higher Education
Year Administration V.I. V.F. V.I V.F V.I/SM ratio V.I/SMN ratio V.I/PSPN ratio V.I/SM ratio V.I/SMN ratio V.I/PSPN ratio
1996 Maluf 1,922.20 3.640,45 2.322,16 4.642,14 405,25 2.874,38 -- 4,74 0,67 -- 5,73 0,81 --
1997 Pitta - Regis 2,151.80 4.302,08 2.599,49 5.196,62 417,13 2.788,28 -- 5,16 0,77 -- 6,23 0,93 --
1998 2,588.90 5.176,05 3.127,59 6.252,34 440,27 2.895,54 -- 5,88 0,89 -- 7,10 1,08 --
1999 2,395.20 4.788,83 2.893,62 5.784,60 426,13 2.945,82 -- 5,62 0,81 -- 6,79 0,98 --
2000 2,357.70 4.713,81 2.848,27 5.693,93 448,59 3.035,10 -- 5,26 0,78 -- 6,35 0,94 --
2001 Marta 2,244.30 4.487,10 2.711,35 5.420,15 489,53 2.967,21 -- 4,58 0,76 -- 5,54 0,91 --
2002 2,135.70 4.269,81 2.580,05 5.157,67 483,27 3.280,04 -- 4,42 0,65 -- 5,34 0,79 --
2003 2,060.60 4.119,58 2.489,28 4.976,20 514,32 3.018,99 -- 4,01 0,68 -- 4,84 0,82 --
2004 2,038.90 4.076,23 2.463,05 4.923,82 526,66 2.916,21 -- 3,87 0,70 -- 4,68 0,84 --
2005 Serra - Kassab 1 1,932.10 3.862,68 2.334,01 4.665,86 575,84 2.977,90 -- 3,36 0,65 -- 4,05 0,78 --
2006 1,925.80 3.850,06 2.326,38 4.650,63 654,87 3.018,14 -- 2,94 0,64 -- 3,55 0,77 --
2007 1,837.70 3.674,03 2.220,01 4.437,99 678,49 3.082,19 -- 2,71 0,60 -- 3,27 0,72 --
2008 2,061.20 4.120,83 2.489,99 4.977,68 691,19 3.344,10 -- 2,98 0,62 -- 3,60 0,74 --
2009 Kassab 2 2,123.20 4.244,86 2.564,93 5.127,50 743,50 3.420,18 1.518,97 2,86 0,62 1,40 3,45 0,75 1,69
2010 2,137.60 4.273,51 2.582,23 5.162,10 768,68 3.350,52 1.544,40 2,78 0,64 1,38 3,36 0,77 1,67
2011 2,218.80 4.435,92 2.680,39 5.358,26 773,66 3.334,91 1.685,21 2,87 0,67 1,32 3,46 0,80 1,59
2012 2,307.50 4.613,20 2.787,52 5.572,41 833,34 3.368,30 1.944,01 2,77 0,69 1,19 3,35 0,83 1,43
2013 Haddad 2,432.70 4.863,65 2.938,84 5.874,93 860,33 3.504,22 1.988,39 2,83 0,69 1,22 3,42 0,84 1,48
2014 2,595.10 5.884,87 3.134,96 7.108,17 863,97 3.488,38 2.025,55 3,00 0,74 1,28 3,63 0,90 1,55
2015 2,468.20 5.597,04 2.981,63 6.760,50 847,41 3.655,49 2.062,36 2,91 0,68 1,20 3,52 0,82 1,45
2016 2,381.00 5.399,19 2.876,29 6.521,95 880,00 3.940,41 2.135,64 2,71 0,60 1,11 3,27 0,73 1,35

Source: salary tables of the respective years of SM, SMN and PSPN (São Paulo, 1996; 1997; 1998; 2000; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014a; 2015; 2016). Prepared by the authors.

Analyzing the dynamics of the initial and final basic salaries of teachers with high school and higher education training, we observe the oscillations in the values adjusted to December 2016, according to Table 2. In the historical series, the lowest initial and final basic salaries, for teachers with both levels of training, were found in 1996 (Maluf Administration) with the value of R$ 1,922.20 and R$ 3,640.50, respectively, and in 2007 (Kassab Administration) with R$ 1,837.70 and R$ 3,674.00. The highest initial and final salaries were found in 1998 (Pitta Administration) with R$ 2,588.90 and R$ 5,176.10 and in 2014 (Haddad Administration) with R$ 2,595.10 and R$ 5,884.90. Graph 1 presents these values for a better view.

Source: salary tables of the respective years and values of SM, SMN and PSPN (São Paulo, 1996; 1997; 1998; 2000; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014a; 2015; 2016). Prepared by the authors.

Graphic 1 Values of Initial Salaries (V.I.) High School and Higher Education Teacher Training, Minimum Wage (SM), Minimum Wage Necessary (SMN) and National Professional Starting Salary (PSPN) (1996-2016) 

Graph 1 shows that salaries go through oscillations along the years with a decline of 15 percent between 1998 and 2007. It can be observed a new drop in the years of 2015 and 2016. The graph also allows us to analyze the behavior of SM, SMN and PSPN in the period. SM has an ascending tendency, rising over 100 percent in the period and decreasing in three years of the series - 1999, 2002 e 2015. SMN had an increase of 37 percent in the period, and PSPN, from 2009 to 2016, went from R$ 1,519.00 to R$ 2,135.60 (a 41 percent increase).

Graph 2 presents the relationships between the values of the initial salaries of RME-SP teachers with the values of these indicators.

Source: salary tables of respective years of SM, SMN and PSPN (São Paulo, 1996; 1997; 1998; 2000; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014a; 2015; 2016). Prepared by the authors.

Graphic 2 Relationship between Initial Salary Teacher-Training High School and Degree SM, SMN and PSPN (1996-2016) 

Regarding the number of Minimum Salaries (SM) received, there was a decline in the period due to the policy of increasing the SAM value. The initial salaries of teachers with high school level went from 4.74 SM in 1996 to 2.71 SM in 2016, a drop of 2.03 SM. Teachers with higher education level went from 5.73 SM in 1996 to 3.27 SM in 2016, a decline of 2.70 SM in 20 years.

It can be seen, according to Graph 2, that almost always, except for the values paid to teachers with a degree in 1998, that the basic salaries had been below the values calculated by DIEESE for a SMN. This relation had the highest difference 2007, during the Gilberto Kassab administration, when the initial values of the basic salary of teachers with high school training corresponded to 60 percent and that of the teachers with a degree to 72 percent of the SMN. As well as in 2016, in the Fernando Haddad administration, when the difference between the SMN and the basic salaries of teachers with high school training once again represented only 60 percent and the teachers with a degree, 73 percent.

Concerning the value defined by the National Professional Starting Salary (PSPN), since the beginning, RME-SP has values that are higher than what is set forth nationwide. In 2009, the initial basic salary of teachers with high school training was 40 percent and those with a degree, 69 percent higher than the PSPN value (it should be reminded that PSPN values are defined for high school training teachers - normal school). However, in 2016, this superiority of values towards PSPN was just 11 percent and 35 percent, and this demonstrates that the readjusted salaries in the education system of the city of São Paulo did not comply with the readjusted values of PSPN. Taking SM as the reference, there is an unfavorable relation towards the initial basic salary of the teachers in the period, since such wage increased less than the SM. However, to better understand this process, it is interesting to analyze the correspondence of the initial basic wage of RME-SP teachers with the SMN. This is due to the fact that the latter had an increase in the period following the inflation, according to ICV8, in order to represent the minimum value necessary for a worker to support a family of two adults and two children, as set forth by 1988 Federal Constitution.

In our analysis, we observed oscillations, but we found a constant ratio varying between 0.60 in 2007 and 0.89 in 1998, the worst and best correspondence of the initial basic salary of a teacher with high school (normal school) training in relation to SMN. Thus, despite the variation, we observe that, in the period, there was significant increase in the basic wages of municipal teachers and the decline in correlation to SM occurred as a result of the higher value that was given the latter. This is confirmed by the 23.9 percent increase in the initial basic salary and 48.3 percent in the final wages9 (an actual gain - above the inflation measured by INPC), while the increase in SM was 117.1% in the period.

Another comparison that allows us to analyze to what extent there was an appreciation of the basic salary in RME-SP is the correspondence in relation to PSPN. When comparing them, we find that, from 2009 through 2016, the correspondence was unfavorable to the initial and final basic wages. This means that the basic wage devalued in relation to PSPN, indicating that the monetary readjustments in RME-SP were lower than the PSPN from 2009 through 2016. That is, RME-SP did not follow the percentages of increase in the PSPN, where the addition was 12.1 percent to the initial basic wage and 27.2 percent to the final wages, while PSPN increase 40.6% in the period.

The Starting Salary Policy in the Education System of the City of São Paulo

Although this article focuses on analyzing the dynamics of salaries in the period between 1996 and 2016, it is important to present the policy of starting salary that is in force in the municipal education system, as the starting salary and not the basic wage is the value that teachers receive when the latter is lower than the former, as will be explained next.

Act No. 14660/2007 (São Paulo, 2007) reads in its art. 100 that, among other aspects, the appreciation of education professionals shall be ensured by a professional starting salary. It sets forth in paragraph 1 that the starting salary “[…] will be set in May of every year, in a collective negotiation, [and] it will be submitted to the City Council for approval”, and paragraph 2 reads that “[…] it will be monetarily readjusted in compliance with the legislation that regulates the wage readjustments of municipal civil servants”.

Before this Act passed, with the purpose of re-structuring the teachers’ career path, Act No. 14244/2006 (São Paulo, 2006) had provided a series of bonuses and the supplementary allowance, whose objective was to guarantee that no teacher would have a wage lower than the threshold set (the starting salary). Thus, the supplementary allowance was added to the standards of basic salaries that were below the baseline value, in order to set a minimum value that teachers in the city education system should be paid, in accordance to their schooling level and working hours. In 2010, even upon the salary readjustment and the addition of bonuses and the supplementary allowance, guaranteed by Act No. 14709/2008 (São Paulo, 2008), the standard of the basic salary of fresh teachers was lower that the baselined set forth by Act No. 14244/2006 (São Paulo, 2006). Confronted with it, a 33.79 percent monetary adjustment was granted that year to the standards of the salary tables, to be paid in three installments to be calculated in addition to the years of 2011, 2012 and 2013; when the readjustments were completely added to the salary table, the supplementary allowance should be incorporated and no longer be used. However, in 2011, Act No. 15490 (São Paulo, 2011) set a new limit, thus maintaining the supplementary allowance to be added in 2014.

We observe in this monetary readjustment policy that, to a certain extent, the public authorities acknowledge that the starting salary must be higher than the initial basic wage, but they do not grant enough readjustments to the salary table to provide an initial basic wage in the professional career which corresponds to the value of the starting salary (the set limit) in the year when the monetary readjustment is negotiated.

For the teachers in their early career, it can be said that the monetary readjustment granted in a few instalments is applied only once, because the supplementary allowance raises the basic wage up to the starting value. Thus, when the readjustment is applied along the years there is no change in the teachers’ salary, only the allowance is incorporated, as a result of the readjustment being applied. For the teachers in the middle or late career paths, the readjustment is paid in instalments, because the basic salary is above the baseline value. For these teachers, the readjustment is received in the very year it is applied. It may be said that the City Hall advances the readjustment agreed upon, in the form of supplementary allowance, to the teachers whose basic salary is below the baseline value.

In 2014, city authorities and the teachers’ union negotiated a 15.38 percent readjustment to be paid in two instalments, 5.54 percent in 2015 and 9,33 percent in 2016. In 2015, a 10.00 percent readjustment was given, 5.00 percent in 2017 and 4.76 percent in 2018. In 2016, salaries were readjusted 7.57 percent to be paid in two instalments, 3.78 percent in November 2017 and 3.65% in November 2018 (Sinpeem, 2016). That is, the policy of supplementary allowance to reach the baseline value set for teachers in the city’s education system will remain until 2018, according to the negotiations agreed between the public authorities and the Union of Teachers of the Education System of the City of São Paulo (Sinpeem).

Table 3 shows the monetary readjustments planned for the 2016-2018 period in relation to the initial basic salary and the ratio towards the starting salary for the Special Integral Working Hours of Formation (JEIF) and the 30 Working Hours (J30), intended for teachers in the Child Education Centers (CEIs), with higher education training.

Table 3 Initial and Final Basic Salary, for a Teacher with Higher Education Training, and Starting Salary in Nominal Values - 2016 to 2018 - JEIF (30 Hours) and J-30 

Initial Basic Salary - QPE-14A Baseline Salary Final Basic Salary - QPE-23E
April 2016 2,772.60 3,300.00 6,286.55
May 2016 2,876.29 3,424.74 6,521.95
August 2016 2,876.29 3,550.00 6,521.95
November 2016 3,031.32 3,550.00 6,873.48
May 2017 3,182.89 3,550.00 7,217.16
November 2017 3,302.20 3,550.00 7,489.16
May 2018 3,460.49 3,550.00 7,846.62
November 2018 3,586.79 3,550.00 8,133.00

Source: Sinpeem Newspaper (Sinpeem, 2016). Prepared by the authors.

It is possible to observe that the starting salary had two readjustments, one of 3.78 percent in May 2016 and the other of 3.65 percent in August of the same year, when the starting salary reaches R$ 3,550.00. It will remain with such value until November 2018, if a new readjustment of the starting salary is not negotiated, as has been the case since 2006. In relation to the initial basic salary, it is observed that, as monetary readjustments are applied, it gets closer to the baseline until it exceeds it in November 2018.

Implementing such policy of supplementary bonus affects teachers adversely, especially teachers whose salary standards are above the starting salary, as for them there is no supplementing and the salary readjustments are granted in the years following the negotiation. As shown in Table 3, in May 2017, the basic wage of a teacher in QPE-11 A and in QPE-23E was respectively R$ 3,182.89 and R$ 7,217.16, however a fresh teacher (QPE-11 A) would get R$ 3,300.00, the value of the baseline salary, while a teacher in the end of career would get the value of QPE-23E.

This policy of salary readjustments can be interpreted as a way of the city of São Paulo prize the early salaries in the career, by setting the baseline value, without the need of matching the basic salary with the baseline salary only once in all standards of wages in the salary table.

Closing Remarks

The analysis of the initial basic salary in the education system of the city of São Paulo in relation to SM, to SMN and to PSPN indicates a salary policy that, at least in relation to the basic salary, did not follow in the percentage the rise of SM in the period from 1996 through 2016 nor the PSPN between 2009 and 2016, although teachers had raises above the inflation rate.

Even considering that the basic salary of teachers in the city of São Paulo is higher than PSPN, it should be noted that there was not, in that period, the same process of increase observed in the readjustments of PSPN. That is, although when PSPN was implemented in 2009, the city teachers with high school training working 40 hours-class per week, had a basic salary 40 percent higher than PSPN, in 2016 such percentage dropped to 11 percent, indicating a significant depreciation of the basic salary in the municipal education system of São Paulo in relation to PSPN.

Therefore, it is evidenced that the compensation difference that municipal teachers had compared to PSPN has been lowering, since the city’s administrations did not adopt across the period the percentages of annual readjustments granted by the federal government to the Baseline Salary.

Regarding the SMN, in November 2016, it was R$ 3,940. 41, and the starting salary was R$ 3,550.00. That is, even with the baseline policy, the supplementary bonus to rise the basic salary that is below the value set for the baseline salary, the baseline salary in the city’s education system, the salary paid to a teacher working 40 hours-class per week and with higher education training did not match one SMN. This means that the baseline salary of the municipal teachers in São Paulo was lower than the minimum amount necessary for a minimally decent life, as set forth by the 1988 Federal Constitution and calculated by DIEESE.

In terms of teachers’ compensation, considering São Paulo is the wealthiest city in Brazil, with the highest living cost, it would be expected that the readjustments in the basic salary of teachers would follow the readjustments applied to PSPN as a way of appreciating the teaching profession, which was not the case. If such tendency of readjusting salaries lower than what is granted to PSPN continues, the initial salary and the baseline salary in RME-SP will be closer and closer to the value set forth by the Act that created the PSPN.

Regarding compensation based on performance, the City of São Paulo grants the Educational Development Award to teacher who meet the criteria defined each year. Teachers get a percentage of the total value of the prize, defined on a yearly basis, according to their working hours: 50 percent for JB (20 hours/classes), 75 percent for JBD (30 hours/classes) and 100 percent for JEIF, J40 and J30 (40 hours/classes).

Thus, although the teacher’s basic salary is not linked to criteria based on the students’ performance, the authorities introduced a way of supplementing the compensation by means of bonuses, even though it is just a little portion of a teacher’s annual compensation.

The data and analysis presented in this article show that, in terms of appreciation of the teaching profession, in regard of compensation, the City of São Paulo did not follow the readjustments applied to PSPN, neither the rise of SM in the period researched. This therefore differs from two important national policies of giving rises above inflation, in sight of, in the first case, the appreciation of the teaching profession and, in the second case, the rise in SM, even though the latter continues to be much lower than the SMN. Taking SMN as an index, it can be found that across the entire history series studied, the value initially paid to teachers with high school training or with higher education teacher training who worked 40 hours/class remained all the time below (except in 1998) than the value of SMN calculated by DIEESE.

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1Research funded by Capes.

Notes

2For the mentioned legislation, see Camargo and Jacomini (2011).

3Passing the Constitutional Amendment No. 95, of December 15, 2016 (Brasil, 2016), which changes the Act of Transitory Constitutional Provisions to include a New Tax Regime Fiscal, with the purpose of reducing expenditures of local, state and federal governments, will certainly adversely affect the policy of appreciation of education professionals, as it had been announced in the legislation since the 1988 Federal Constitution. The situation worsens with the passing of the Labor Reform, in 2017, which withdraws from the 1943 Consolidation of the Labor Laws (CLT), a series of fundamental rights to the workers concerning the employer/employee relationship. A period is now open, due to such changes, of stagnation regarding the appreciation of education professionals, according to Goal 18 of the 2014-2024 National Education Plan; there is the possibility of setbacks in the insufficient but rather important labor achievements as the National Professional Starting Salary, whose monetary readjustments were above the inflation since 2009.

4The city’s education system has four types of working hours for teachers. Three of them - Basic Working Hours (20 hours/class), Teacher’s Basic Working Hours (30 hours/class) and Special Integral Working Hours of Formation (40 hours/class) - are related to teachers working in Child Education- Pre-school, Elementary/Middle School - Cycle I and II and High-School; one of them - 30 Working hours (30 hours) - is related to teachers who work in Child Education - Day Care. The difference between the working hours of teachers in day care and pre-school, elementary/middle school and high-school is related to the length of the hour/class (day care 60 minutes and pre-school, Elementary/Middle School and High-School 45 minutes).

5According to Act No. 14660/2007, a teacher career included 11 categories, numbered from 11 to 21. Act No. 15963/2014 added two more categories and Decree No. 55310/2014 regulated the evolution in the added categories.

6Except for the two last categories (22 and 23) for which teachers must have the minimum service time of 23 and 24 years respectively and must reach the required score.

7Although the law allowed to reach the last category and the last degree in the career after 9 years of service, it was very difficult for a civil servant to reach the required scores in such a short period of time.

8It is important to remind that JEIF consists of 40 hours-class corresponding to 30 hours.

9Living Costs Index, created by DIEESE to monitor the inflation process, with its own methodology.

10The difference in the increased percentage between the final basic salary of 1996 through 2006 is the highest difference between the initial basic salary because two categories were added to the career in 2014.

Received: July 07, 2017; Accepted: January 19, 2018

Translated by Ronaldo Chagas de Carvalho and proofread by Ananyr Porto Fajardo.

Márcia Aparecida Jacomini holds a PhD in Education by Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Currently she is a Professor at the Graduate Program of Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp). E-mail: marciajacomini@uol.com.br

Ana Paula Santiago do Nascimento is a PhD candidate at the School of Education of Universidade de São Paulo (USP). She is currently a K-12 education teacher in the Paulistinha School of Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp). E-mail: anpaula@usp.br

Leandro Thomazini holds a MA in Education by Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp). He is currently a K-12 education teacher in the city of Jundiaí. E-mail: leandrothomazini@yahoo.com.br

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