Education Minister Elias Bou Saab speaks to Lebanese University professors as they celebrate in front of the Grand Serail in Beirut, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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In a marathon session, the Cabinet unanimously approved Thursday the thorny Lebanese University decree, appointing deans to the institution's council and making contract-based professors full-timers, after years of disputes and struggles over the issue.The Cabinet also allocated funds to pay salaries to public sector employees. Contract professors were last made full-timers in May 2008 .The absence of fully fledged deans over the past decade had prompted the transfer of the powers of the university's council to the education minister and LU president, crippling the university's independence and preventing professors from having a say in issues related to the running of the university. Contract professors have refrained from grading final exams and have been holding weekly protests to pressure the government to make them full-timers, a status that entitles teachers to National Social Security Fund benefits, a salary every month rather than every two years and other perks.The agreement was finalized shortly before the session during a meeting between Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Bou Saab and Economy Minister Alain Hakim, who is from the Kataeb Party.
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