School teachers protest in Riad al-Solh over the salary raise, Wednesday, Oct.1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Speaker Nabih Berri sent a controversial wage hike draft law back to joint committees Wednesday, citing the opposition of many sectors to the bill.Parliament was slated to pass the public sector wage hike bill against the backdrop of opposition by the private sector and a threat of a strike by private school teachers to protest their exclusion from the proposed salary raise.Following Berri's announcement, lawmakers quickly passed eight draft laws, most significantly LL626 billion to pay the November and December salaries of public sector employees."We were staggered by the bill which lacked equality and justice ... If asking for justice is a crime, let them prosecute us," Mahfouz told the angry crowd.He warned that if Parliament ignored the private sector's demands and went ahead with passing the bill, the teachers would take escalatory moves, including an open-ended strike.
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