BEIRUT: The Union Coordination Committee called Thursday for boycotting Lebanon’s official exams in protest of a recommendation to cut funding for the salary scale by $700 million, and for a 'day of rage' next week.
“There won’t be official exams this year if the lawmakers remain uncommitted to our demands and if they pass the amended draft bill,” a UCC representative said.
The UCC, which launched a week-long strike earlier in the day, also called for a 'day of rage' next Wednesday.
Most public schools and government agencies committed to the strike while private schools remained open.
Teachers in Mount Lebanon's Iqlim al-Kharroub went to schools but suspended lessons and students were not allowed in, the National News Agency reported.
Not all government offices committed to the strike in the region, it added, while private schools functioned regularly.
The Serail in Nabatieh and most municipalities in the district committed to the strike, as well as public high schools and technical schools and the Lebanese University.
In Aley, Mount Lebanon, government workers came to offices but refused to do any paper work for citizens and said they are committed to the strike until the middle of next week, when Parliament is scheduled to discuss the wage scale again.
The head of the UCC, Hanna Gharib, called for the strike Wednesday after the parliamentary committee tasked with restudying the salary scale draft law reduced the total funding from L.L2.8 trillion to L.L1.8 trillion.
The committee endorsed a number of proposals such as raising the rate of the Value Added Tax from 10 percent to 11 percent, increasing customs by 1 percent and increasing taxes on bank profits from 15 to 17 percent.
Nehme Mahfouz, the head of the private school teachers association, said private schools would join the strike next week.
Speaker Nabih Berri called on Parliament to convene in May 14 to review the parliamentary committee’s recommendation.
Seperately, Lebanon’s National Social Security Fund Employees' Association also called for a strike on May 14 and 15 to protest the administration's failure to meet the demands of workers.
It urged all employees to commit to the strike.