Lebanon News

Teachers to continue exam boycott unless wages are raised

Lebanese teachers carry banners during a rally as they demand higher salaries in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. (Mohammad Azakir/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: The Union Coordination Committee, which includes schoolteachers in the public sector, announced Friday that its members will refrain from correcting official exams if the government does not approve a long-awaited salary scale by Tuesday.

In a news conference, the Union called on all civil servants to take part in a sit-in next Tuesday in front of ministries and public institutions.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati promised public school teachers in June that they would receive higher salaries in line with a January law mandating the establishment of new wage scales for the public and private sectors.

The Cabinet agreed to establish a committee – which included ministers of education, finance and the economy – for the purpose of establishing a specific scale for teachers.

Based on Mikati’s promise and the committee’s formation, the teachers dropped their threat not to correct grade 9 and grade 12 official exams, but said they would not begin correcting the exams until the scale was established and took effect.

At its press conference, the Union Coordination Committee blamed the Cabinet committee for not respecting promises made to teachers by the government.

In comments published on June 30, Economy and Trade Minister Nicolas Nahhas said the issue of the salary scale for state employees should not be taken lightly, stressing that the main priority should be to balance the state budget.

He suggested that bowing completely to the demands of the unions and associations would burden the treasury.

However, Nahhas rejected proposals to offer students statements testifying that they completed the school year instead of the usual certificates.





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