Securing dignity: Mexico's pension reform initiative supports teachers and public sector workers

published 14 February 2024 updated 19 February 2024

Education International’s affiliate in Mexico, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) has voiced its support for a Mexican government proposal to reform the pension system for state workers. This reform proposal, put forward by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Chamber of Deputies, signifies a pivotal move towards addressing longstanding issues of wage stagnation and working poverty faced by public sector employees, including teachers.

Over the years, the gradual deterioration in the salaries of Mexico's state workers has critically impacted their living standards. Exacerbating this issue, the 2007 revision of the ISSSTE Law, which governs social security and pensions for Mexico's state workers, introduced a pivotal change by transitioning from a solidarity-based pension scheme to one reliant on individual accounts. This shift significantly reduced the anticipated pensions for state workers to less than 30 per cent of their previous salaries. The reform was criticized for undermining the acquired rights of state workers and perpetuating injustice against those dedicated to the nation's development, including teachers and education support personnel.

In 2018, SNTE advocated for a review and reform of the ISSSTE Law, presenting evidence-based proposals supported by actuarial studies aimed at ensuring retiring education workers receive a pension that affords them a dignified life.

In support of this initiative, SNTE General Secretary, Alfonso Cepeda Salas, highlighted: "Our unwavering support for the pension reform initiative underscores our commitment to correcting the injustices inflicted upon our workers through previous policies, ensuring a future where dignity and fairness prevail in the public sector."

Go Public: Securing futures through public investment

Education International stands in solidarity with SNTE in this crucial fight for fair pensions and wages in line with the objectives of the Go Public! Fund Education campaign, calling on governments to fully fund public education systems and invest in the teaching profession.

By addressing the critical issues of salaries, pensions, and retirements, the proposed reforms aim to enhance the living conditions of Mexico's educators, honoring their lifelong dedication to teaching with the dignity they deserve.