BEIRUT: The Union Coordination Committee Wednesday called on teachers and administrative staff to stop all preparations for official school examinations, accusing Parliament of procrastinating and ignoring the movement after a legislative session yesterday was postponed for another two weeks.
“The postponement of the parliamentary session ... has reinforced [our] conviction that the ... [intention]is not only to procrastinate, but to sideline our rights, the wage hike, the UCC and the hopes of the Lebanese for a union and national unification over their true national and social causes,” said a statement released by the committee.
The March 14 alliance and MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc failed to attend the last session, preventing the Parliament from obtaining a quorum. As a result, Speaker Nabih Berri postponed it until June 10, three days after Grade 9 official exams are scheduled to start.
UCC said the last three years had proven that the conventional methods of protest were not to force lawmakers to pass the wage hike.
As a result, it called on professors and administrators to boycott the official exams from June 7 onward, including the proctoring of exams, setting the questions, and the process of correcting the tests.
The statement said there would be a news conference Friday at 3 p.m., in which a plan to escalate the pressure on Parliament would be announced.
The UCC’s plan would recommend a general strike in the public sector and call on all public workers to paralyze state administrations, ministries, the governmental palace and all municipalities.
The announcement comes just a day after Education Minister Elias Bou Saab warned that if the union issued a call to boycott the exams, “the country will enter a crisis.”
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Bou Saab urged MPs to consider the salary scale as one of “utmost importance” and “national interest,” after lawmakers said they would not discuss any issue other than the presidential elections unless it was of exceptionally high importance.