BEIRUT: The Union Coordination Committee announced Monday it would delay its strike set for Wednesday, stressing that it would continue boycotting the grading of the official exams.
“[The committee will] delay the general strike at ministries and administration offices on Wednesday August 6 2014, as well as the 11 a.m. protest in Riad Solh,” Elementary Teachers League’s secretary Bahaa Tadmari announced at a news conference.
However, the committee “is maintaining its boycott on setting the grading criteria and the grading process,” the statement added, calling on lawmakers to quickly attend a Parliament session and pass the salary scale increase.
The UCC boycotted the grading of official exams for Grade 9 and 12 after lawmakers failed to pass the salary scale increase.
Having supported the UCC’s demands all the way, Education Minister Elias Bou Saab made a controversial decision Saturday to allow Grade 12 students to use their school grades to apply to universities in Lebanon and abroad.
The decision stripped the UCC of a key negotiation card, which blamed lawmakers of ruining an entire academic year and the future of dozens of students.
In light of the tension between the UCC and the ministry, Bou Saab met with representatives of all educational departments affiliated with Lebanese parties Monday, and set a 48-hour deadline to reach an agreement.
According to the National News Agency, another meeting will be held after two days, and a decision could be made at that point.
The offices vowed to support the UCC, stressing its “commitment to support and stand by the UCC, regardless of the decision that would be taken by the minister.”
“The political parties have caused a [presidential] void by not electing a president, and paralyzed [the Parliament] by stopping legislation,” the UCC said, “taking all Lebanese people hostage.”
The unions also criticized the political class for not providing the Lebanese Army with political coverage for its campaign in Arsal, comparing this practice to “the disruption of the Union Coordination Committee."
The UCC saluted the Army and its efforts in suppressing “terrorist and takfiri” organizations in east Lebanon, paying respect “to the souls of the Army’s martyrs and to its wounded and missing [troops.]”