Brazil, Where a Judge Made $361,500 in a Month, Fumes Over Pay

Helga y UzielThere are many ways of striking it rich in Brazil, but one strategy may come as a particular surprise in today’s economic climate: securing a government job. While civil servants in Europe and the United States have had their pay slashed or jobs eliminated altogether, some public employees in Brazil are pulling down salaries and benefits that put their counterparts in the developed countries to shame. One clerk at a court in Brasília, the capital, earned $226,000 in a year, more than the chief justice of the nation’s Supreme Court. And São Paulo’s highway department paid one of its engineers $263,000 a year, more than the nation’s president. Then there were 168 public employees in São Paulo’s auditing court who received monthly salaries of at least $12,000, sometimes as much as $25,000, more than the mayor of the city, Brazil’s largest, was earning. Indeed, the mayor at the time joked he planned to apply for a job in the parking garage of City Council building when his term ended in December after the São Paulo legislature revealed one parking valet earned $11,500 month. Brazil’s once-booming economy stalls, “super salaries,” as they have become known here, are feeding newfound resentment over inequality in nation’s unwieldy bureaucracies. Powerful unions for certain classes of civil servants, strong legal protections for government workers, a swelling public sector that has created many new well-paying jobs, generous benefits can be exploited by insiders have all made Brazil’s public sector a coveted bastion of privilege. But spoils are not distributed equally. While thousands of public employees have exceeded constitutional limits on their pay, many more are scraping to get by. Across country, schoolteachers and the police officers generally earn little more than $1,000 month, sometimes less, exacerbating country’s pressing security concerns and long-faltering education system. “Salary distortions in our public bureaucracy have reached a point where they are an utter and absolute disgrace,” said Gil Castello Branco, director of Contas Abertas, a watchdog group that scrutinizes government budgets. Privileged public employees, once called maharajahs in a nod to the opulence of India’s old nobility, have long existed in Brazil. As Brazil nourishes ambitions of climbing into ranks of developed nations, a new freedom of information law requires public institutions to reveal the wages of their employees, from rank-and-file civil servants like clerks to cabinet ministers. Though some officials are resisting the new rules, disclosures at public institutions have revealed case after case of public employees earning more than the Supreme Court justices, who made about $13,360 a month in 2012, amount established in Constitution as highest salary public employees can receive. In the Senate and Chamber of Deputies alone, more than 1,500 employees earned more than the constitutional limit, according to Congresso em Foco, a watchdog group (…..)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/world/americas/brazil-seethes-over-public-officials-super-salaries.html

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

One Response to Brazil, Where a Judge Made $361,500 in a Month, Fumes Over Pay

  1. (NYT GOLDEN PICK) Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Despite some progress of the last 15 yrs., the colonial Portuguese era judiciary system resists efforts to modernization. Bureaucracies such as tax collection and federal police became professional and more efficient in the last few years. State owned enterprises are profitable and deliver reasonable services. The judiciary system is the weakest link among the three powers that govern the country. It is over bloated, opaque/corrupt, overpaid and delivers nothing for the common citizen. Its byzantine structure favors the 1% elite to guarantee crime impunity and keep economic privileges intact. The gross abuse seen in the judiciary is also taking place in the legislative. Salary of mayors in medium sized cities is higher than wages paid to their counterparts in developed countries.


    Felipão — Brazil’s new national soccer team trainer — had the best definition of what many people think about some jobs in the public sector. Talking about the difficulties and challenges of becoming trainer, he said: If I wanted an easy job, I would be working in Banco do Brasil -a state owned bank🙂

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/world/americas/brazil-seethes-over-public-officials-super-salaries.html

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