Contract teachers protest in front of the education ministry in Beirut, Monday, June 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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The Future bloc Monday outright rejected the draft law to increase the salaries of civil servants and teachers, saying the wage hike would drive Lebanon into bankruptcy.Nevertheless, Education Minister Elias Bou Saab was optimistic that lawmakers could reach a deal on the disputed wage hike bill during Tuesday's legislative session, insisting official school exams would be held this week despite a boycott by the teachers.Bou Saab said the official exams would be held regardless of whether the wage hike bill would be approved or postponed.Despite a boycott of official exams by teachers protesting against Parliament's failure to approve the bill, Bou Saab has revealed a backup plan in which he will use contract teachers to replace the full-timers.The UCC, which has spearheaded the movement in support of the wage hike for teachers and civil servants for three years, observed a nationwide strike, with the union's head, Hanna Gharib, calling on contract teachers to defy Bou Saab and refuse to monitor official school exams.
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