Report Nº: 105110/01/2024


One of the errors of the omnibus law is that it maintains the double negotiation in the teachers’ salaries. The federal government intervening in the negotiation of the salaries paid by the provinces is a permanent source of conflict and pressure for part of the provincial teachers’ salaries to be paid with national funds.

Article 10° of the National Education Law establishes that the national Ministry of Education, the Federal Education Council and the national teachers’ unions will set the minimum teachers’ salary. The Omnibus bill, which the government submitted to Congress, reaffirms this mandate in its Article 551°. But Article 552° establishes that the provinces -which are in charge of the management of education– will agree on another minimum teacher salary for their jurisdiction. In conclusion, in a confusing and contradictory manner, the overlapping of roles between jurisdictions is maintained in a very sensitive issue such as the determination of teachers’ salaries in basic education.

The overlapping dates back to 2006 when the National Education Law was enacted. In practice, it implies that national officials agree with national teachers’ unions on the minimum remuneration that applies throughout the country. Then, taking this floor as a reference, in each province the provincial Ministry of Education negotiates with the provincial teachers’ unions the salary scales. This scheme encourages conflict and forces the Nation to pay part of the provincial teachers’ salaries. 

With information published by the Ministry of Education, it is possible to quantify the national participation in the financing of provincial teachers’ salaries. As of September 2023, the latest official data available, it is observed that:

  • The national contribution to provincial teachers’ salaries was AR$28,700.  
  • The average gross salary of all provinces was AR$320,000.
  • This implies that the national Ministry of Education contributes only with 9%, on average, of the teachers’ salaries paid by the provinces.  

These data show that the national contribution to provincial teachers’ salaries is low. Thus, in the national bargaining process, wage raises are fixed despite that they are mostly financed by the provincial budgets. A centralized negotiation establishing a legal mandate, whose financial consequences are paid by a third party (the provinces), generates the wrong incentives. The main consequences are that it increases the teachers conflict in the provinces and the provincial pressures on the federal government to finance part of teachers’ salaries acquire legitimacy. 

The omnibus bill proposes that the federal government promotes in the Federal Council of Education common criteria for the teaching career, the evaluation of new teachers and the evaluation of young people who finish high school. These are very relevant actions in the objective of improving provincial educational management. For this reason, it is very contradictory that the project maintains the bad practice of the federal level intervening in the salary negotiation, instead of concentrating on making it clear that the central level only has monitoring functions. The worst is that this goes against the goal of lowering public spending since it exacerbates the pressure of the provinces on the federal level to finance part of the teachers’ salaries. 

This is not the only error contained in the Omnibus bill regarding the federal system. For example, the bill moves forward with the delayed transfer of ordinary and labor justice from the national jurisdiction to the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. But it keeps the General Inspectorate of Justice and the regulatory functions in the distribution of electric power in the metropolitan region in the national sphere, when in the rest of the country they are provincial responsibilities. Nor does the bill transfer the electric distribution concessions (Edenor and Edesur) and the ownership of the public water and sewage company of the metropolitan region (AySA) to the Autonomous City and the province of Buenos Aires.

The omnibus law aims to introduce as deep and comprehensive transformations as necessary. But for the objectives to be achieved it is essential to overcome mistakes. Several of them are related to the organization of the federal regime. Congress has the historic opportunity to correct them and thus make a decisive contribution for Argentina to emerge from its decadence. 


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