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It is impossible to cover the FONID with provincial resources

The elimination of National Teacher Incentive Fund (FONID) The relationship between the Casa Rosada and the governors has become more strained in recent days, just before the start of classes and without the agreement having yet been finalized. National Teaching Parityannounced for next week, which establishes a salary negotiation floor in the provinces every year.

The FONID is a relevant component in the teacher salary, it averages 13% of the initial salary earned by nearly 1.6 million teachers throughout the country in the formal educational system, from the initial level to the non-university tertiary level. The provinces have no back to cover with their own resources, several admitted governors in the last days. “It’s impossible,” he admitted to Ámbito. Minister of Education of Santa Fe, José Goity, during an interview.

Journalist: How much does FONID represent for teaching in your province?

José Goity: It is a fixed sum of $28,000 per position, representing between 3% and 10% of the teaching salary, depending on the amount of the salary. And due to the Nation’s cut, we carry a 2023 debt for the last three months.

Q: Could the province cover the lack of these funds?

JG: It is $3.2 billion a month, the national government should be responsible for that national supplement, which it is not doing.

Q: The Casa Rosada seems to be determined not to go back on this decision, what will the country’s Education Ministers do?

JG: We presented a note of complaint to Carlos Torrendell, national secretary of Education, and to the Ministry of Economy. But we will also take the appropriate actions, because the FONID arises from a law that is updated every year, through the National Budget. But since this year we have a budget, it is redirected, there are legal aspects to take into consideration.

Q: How did FONID come about?

JG: The fund is 26 years old and was the result of a law that was passed after the teaching struggle in the White Tent, between 1997 and 1999. At the time it was funded by a tax on automobiles, which was known as the “wafer.” that was stuck on cars. But it had no result, it did not have social consensus and it fell, but the fund continued through a law. For some, that law has already expired but it was updated every year, when incorporated into the Budget Law. We consider that it is necessary to sustain it.

Q: On February 26, classes should start in Santa Fe, is everything ready, compared to a joint venture that did not close?

JG: We are making a huge sacrifice to start classes. We know that there are problems and that they are not foreign to the country as a whole. Meanwhile, we are looking for a space in agreement with all sectors, much more in education. For now, we are trying to know what resources we will have and we understand that the offer will be made next week. We had difficulties paying the last tranche of the 2023 parity but that will be canceled shortly. The 2024 salary discussion is just starting, although progress was already made in January.

Q: Last year, Santa Fe signed an agreement with the then Ministry of Education of the Nation to incorporate all its primary schools into Plan 25, that is, a minimum of 25 hours of class per week. Can it continue, taking into account that it is also supported by national funds?

JG: : Regarding this, there is also already a debt of the Nation for $1,000 million. And taking into account national decisions, this agreement and its compliance is also in question. The funds are not guaranteed and we are evaluating it to be able to transmit certainties to teachers and families.

Q: Could the provincial government cover Plan 25 with its own resources?

JG: : The province is managed with a budget, based on what is collected and received from the Nation. And at a time of national funding restrictions, we are evaluating it. The FONID thing is impossible.

In all provinces the countdown to the start of classes began. In some it will start the last week of this month, while in others, classrooms will open the first week of March. The governors they await definitions because together with the elimination of the FONID have also been discontinued Teacher Salary Compensation Fund, the salary items for Connectivity and Didactic Material, among other national educational programs. The leaders also ask that the sending of items for lunches, breakfasts and snacks be normalized in school cafeterias, which, for now, they cover with their own items.

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