After 52 days of strike, medical examiners from Brazil’s social security institute (INSS) returned to work on Monday. Their stoppage left over 1 million people waiting for examinations to get medical leave benefits — with the estimated waiting time for an appointment reaching up to 120 days.
Like many other civil servants in the federal public service, INSS examiners wanted wage bumps, as well as a daily cap of 12 appointments to avoid burnout. The government agreed to both demands.
Workers across multiple public service careers have been engaged in a tug of war with the government for better salaries — with many going on strike or adopting go-slow protests in recent weeks.
The INSS is the entity that pays retirement and other benefits to Brazilian workers. It is also responsible for granting benefits or paid leave due to illness or disability. All beneficiaries must undergo a medical examination in order to become eligible for benefits.