The Federal Nursing Council (Cofen) received with surprise and indignation the decision of Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), who suspended, this Sunday (4/9), the national salary floor for nursing.
Several state unions contacted the council this Sunday, expressing disagreement with the terms presented by Barroso to justify the measure. In addition, says Cofen, state entities have already informed the confederation that they can organize strikes across the country.
In the minister’s decision, a period of 60 days is defined for the category to clarify the financial impact of the measure endorsed by the National Congress and sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). The magistrate wants to assess the risks to employability in the sector and analyze whether there will be an impact on the quality of services provided.
The minister defended that the clarifications occur before the floor enters into force. Barroso points out “a concrete risk of worsening the provision of health services”, due to the risks pointed out by the federal government, related to mass layoffs and the reduction in the supply of beds due to the increase in expenses with the floor.
Cofen’s federal adviser, Daniel Menezes counters the minister’s decision, claiming that the national salary floor for nurses was a victory discussed for 50 years and widely debated in the National Congress.
“All the entities that the minister says he needs to hear in the next 60 days were heard when the measure was still being processed in the Chamber of Deputies. It is an important work to reduce the discrepancy in wages across the country. There are nurses who earn a minimum wage”, highlighted Menezes.
For the counselor, the decision is not fair. “The data presented by representatives of private entities as possible dismissals have no scientific basis. All this has already been presented. There is work in Congress to equate the subsidy. Cofen will speak out against the decision. Let’s not get down. We are surprised but already working to guarantee our acquired right”, he stressed.
In a note, the Federal and Regional Councils of Nursing (Cofen/Coren) stated that “they are already working to reach consensuses that make it possible to overturn the injunction in the STF, as it is a historical demand of the category”.
Barroso’s precautionary decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the National Confederation of Health, Hospitals and Establishments and Services (CNSaúde), which questioned the constitutionality of the law that instituted the salary floor of R$ 4,750 for nurses; 70% of this amount to nursing technicians; and 50% for nursing assistants and midwives.
CNSaúde claimed that the law would be unconstitutional, because the rule that defines the remuneration of civil servants is a private initiative of the Chief Executive, which did not happen, and that the rule disrespected the financial, administrative and budgetary self-organization of subnational entities, “both for having repercussions on the legal regime of its servants, as well as for impacting private hospitals hired by states and municipalities to perform procedures by the SUS”.
The entity also stated that the text was approved quickly and without legislative maturity in the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. CNSaúde stressed that the matter was not analyzed in parliamentary committees, despite the relevance of the measure and its significant impacts. As postulated by the confederation, the application of the law can increase unemployment, generate the bankruptcy of health units or increase the transfer of costs in the private service, among other problems.
“The decision of Minister Luís Roberto Barroso is a landmark in the jurisprudence of the STF. Even recognizing the undeniable importance of nurses and technicians for the country and the need to value these careers, it requires a financial-regulatory impact study by the legislator in order to understand the extent of the costs and the adverse effects that the floor will entail, both for the private sector, as well as for the states and municipalities”, said André Silveira, a lawyer who worked on the case for the Confederação das Santas Casas.
Also according to the lawyer, “the Union cannot impose a top-down floor and break the budgets of public, private and non-profit hospitals. Health care in the country was at risk of imminent collapse.”
See the minister’s decision:
Adi 7222 Mc – Mlrb Decision by Guilherme Goulart on Scribd
In the decision, Barroso states that the Legislative and Executive did not “take care of the measures” that would make the execution of the salary floor feasible. The minister intends to take the precautionary decision to the virtual plenary in the coming days. The magistrate undertakes to reassess the case at the end of the term.
The 26 states, the Federal District, the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM) and the Ministry of Economy will be summoned to provide information within the deadline. The Ministry of Labor and the National Confederation of Health Workers (CNTS) will have to provide detailed data regarding the risk of layoffs.
Finally, the Ministry of Health, health councils and the Brazilian Federation of Hospitals (FBH) will need to clarify the alleged risk of closing beds and reducing the number of nurses and technicians.