Administrative Reform (PEC 32) threatens to end public services in Brazil

In recent years, Brazil has suffered a series of attacks on the working class. The pension reform made access to retirement difficult. The labor reform further worsened working conditions. Now the administrative reform (PEC 32) could put an end to the offer of public services to the Brazilian population.

Around a year ago, the Bolsonaro administration presented a bill that changes public service rules in Brazil based on the lie of ending privileges. The text was conceived by the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes who comes from the so-called ultra liberal “Chicago school” whose scholars implemented neoliberal policies under Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.


The core of this reform is the Article 37 which opens the way for the complete privatization of rights guaranteed by the constitution, such as Healthcare and Education. In practice, it can put an end to the Brazilian National Health Service (SUS) that provides healthcare services for millions of people for free. Public schools may also have their days numbered.


PEC 32 is also notable for facilitating crony hiring. Public tenders will practically cease to exist. Thus, public exams opened to all citizens might be overcame by connections with public officials and politicians.


The change will facilitate illicit schemes, since public employees will hardly report cases of corruption. Currently, Bolsonaro and three of his sons are facing the courts for embezzlement of public money using the salaries of cabinet advisers. This practice will become more common if this change is implemented.


Administrative reform also opens loopholes for the end of tenure in public office. In the state administration, job security is meant to guarantee the continuity of the provision of public services. The end of job security will certainly deteriorate the supply and quality of public services significantly.


A series of attacks on public employees’ rights are also foreseen: from the loss of benefits such as food stamps to the reduction of wages and working hours. Women’ rights are not exempted. There is a provision that targets women on maternity leave who get ancillary remuneration.


The temporary contract in the public service can also be extended up to 10 years. The measure could simply end the public service careers, since temporary employees will act practically the same way as the hired ones.
The administrative reform main goal is to release the Brazilian state from its social responsibilities. All people’s needs will be delivered through the private sector turning even basic services such as Healthcare and Education into commodities.

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