BEIRUT

Lebanon News

UCC warns against holding exams without teachers

Hundreds of civil servants and public school teachers march toward Parliament in protest of the government's failure to pass a wage hike bill on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Union Coordination Committee warned Education Minister Elias Bou Saab Sunday against holding the official exams without the public school teachers and called for protests Monday.

“If you decide to hold the official exams without the teachers then there is a problem, and we warn you against the repercussions of such action,” UCC head Hanna Gharib said during a press conference, addressing the education minister.

Bou Saab announced a backup plan last week in case public school teachers boycott the official exams over the standoff in the salary scale debate.

The minister said he could use contract teachers and members of the Parents Committees to monitor and correct the tests. The Committee of Contract Teachers said they agreed to the minister’s proposal and that Bou Saab had promised them to refer their demands of full-time employment to the concerned parties and pay them transportation fees for every exam day.

Gharib described the deal Bou Saab was seeking with contract teachers as an “insulting and unprecedented bazaar.”

He called for a protest outside the Education Ministry Monday at 10 a.m. and a nationwide strike Monday and Tuesday.

Gharib said that the UCC “would not allow anyone to prepare the exams or monitor or correct them.”

“We still haven’t acted in a negative way to what the education minister said, and we hope we are not forced to take negative action,” Gharib threatened.

Bou Saad has appealed to lawmakers to attend a Parliament session Tuesday and endorse the controversial wage hike.

Lawmakers are in dispute over means to finance the wage hike, expected to cost the treasury some $1.6 billion annually, including raising the rate of VAT from 10 to 11 percent, as well as proposed taxes on illegal seafront properties.

Some lawmakers have also been boycotting Parliament, arguing that it cannot legislate in light of presidential void. Political sources told The Daily Star earlier that quorum for the June 10 legislative session to discuss the controversial public sector wage hike will be secured.

 

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