MPs attend the presidential election session at the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, June 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Rival politicians struggled Monday to clinch a deal over the wage hike bill, in a last-ditch attempt to avert a looming showdown over official exams between the education minister and unions representing civil servants and teachers ahead of a crucial Parliament session Tuesday.Although a quorum for the Parliament session intended to discuss and approve the public sector's controversial salary scale draft law appeared to be secured, it remained unclear whether lawmakers would be able to endorse the bill, as parliamentary blocs disagreed over proposed taxes to fund the increases. While Bou Saab said the exams would take place as scheduled even if Parliament failed to endorse the wage hike bill Tuesday, the UCC, which represents civil servants and public and private school teachers, pledged not to allow the tests to be conducted unless the salary increases were endorsed first.Bou Saab sounded optimistic that lawmakers could reach a deal on the disputed wage hike bill during Tuesday's session, while insisting that official school exams would be held Thursday despite a boycott by public teachers.
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