The Senate Plenary approved this Wednesday (24), in the form of a substitute, the project that institutes the national salary floor for nurses, technicians and nursing assistants and also for midwives (PL 2.564/2020). The proposal is authored by senator Fabiano Contarato (Rede-ES) and received a favorable vote from the rapporteur, senator Zenaide Maia (Pros-RN), who presented the substitute approved in plenary. Now the text will be analyzed by the Chamber of Deputies.
The project includes the base salary in Law 7,498, of 1986, which regulates the practice of nursing, establishing an initial minimum for nurses in the amount of R$ 4,750, to be paid nationally by public and private health services, for a working day 30 hours a week. Regarding the minimum remuneration of other professionals, the project establishes the following gradation: 70% of the national floor of nurses for nursing technicians and 50% of the national floor of nurses for nursing assistants and midwives.
In defending the project, Contarato argued that its approval would be the best possible tribute to these professionals who, amid the greatest health challenge ever faced in this century, put their lives at risk to save victims of covid-19. According to the senator, “setting the national salary floor for nursing professionals and auxiliary activities is an essential repair to be made”. He informed that in his state, Espírito Santo, the average salary of nurses is less than two minimum wages.
Contarato thanked the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, for the fact that the project had been discussed in the Plenary. He also praised the humanist character of Zenaide in the construction of her report and the willingness of senator Eliziane Gama (Cidadania-MA) to help in understanding the text. Contarato recalled that he presented the project on May 12 of last year, the date on which the International Day of Nursing is celebrated.
When reiterating that the project is a form of tribute to these professionals, the senator noted that there are about 2.4 million nurses in Brazil. He highlighted that 85% of these professionals are women and more than 53% are black and brown. And, by demanding more appreciation for nursing professionals, he lamented the misogyny, homophobia and institutional racism that over the years marked the positioning of politicians in the country.
The senator was moved to remember that his sister-in-law, who was a nursing technician, died of covid-19 at 44 years of age.
“Let’s have more empathy. Let’s fight for a fairer society and a better country – he asked.
For Zenaide Maia, with a national salary floor, it will be possible to offer health services with more quality to all Brazilians. She pointed out that it is unreasonable to demand that those who work in the worst conditions receive the worst wages. For the senator, the appreciation of these professionals will bring an improvement in the quality of care and will encourage the “internalization” of more professionals.
— This project is a way to applaud these professionals, to give dignity and respect to nursing. Efficient professionals, planning and centralization can reduce losses and restore normality in case of new pandemic crises or new waves – said the senator when defending her replacement.
Zenaide informed that 11 amendments were presented in Plenary, of which she accepted four partially. One of them, by senator Eliziane Gama, sets the floor value for nurses at R$ 4,750. The value of the original proposal was R$7,315, while another amendment suggested the value of R$3,500. Zenaide opted for the intermediate value, considering it “very reasonable”. Eliziane also presented another suggestion, accepted by the reporter, to ensure the maintenance of current wages above the minimum, regardless of the working hours for which the professional has been hired. Zenaide said it is a way to guarantee the irreducibility of the salary.
The reporter also accepted an amendment by senator Wellington Fagundes (PL-MT), which suggested dismembering the different instances of employers or contracting nurses, technicians or nursing assistants, as well as midwives, to distinguish between “CLT” and public statutory. Based on a suggestion by senators Lasier Martins (Podemos-RS) and Eliziane Gama, the text started to predict the annual correction of the floor based on the National Consumer Price Index (INPC).
Journey and term
In the original text, Contarato suggested that the national wage floor would be raised proportionally to the number of hours over and above the 30 hours a week. In the replacement, Zenaide Maia removed this device. In her place, the reporter suggested the possibility of compensating hours and reducing the working hours, by agreement or collective agreement.
Zenaide Maia, who is a doctor, also changed the date of entry into force of the proposal. Contarato had suggested that the floor become valid 180 days after the publication of the new law. The rapporteur proposed that the future law enter into force on the first day of the financial year following its publication.
Agência Senado (Reproduction authorized upon citation of Agência Senado)