Naharnet

SCC Accuses Officials of Blackmail over Wage Scale, Will Continue Boycotting Correction of Exams

The Syndicate Coordination Committee accused on Tuesday officials of blackmailing them and the nation regarding the approval of the new wage scale, rejecting their excuses over the failure to adopt the hike.

Head of Public Secondary School Education Teachers Association Hanna Gharib said during a press conference: “We will continue on boycotting the correction of official exams until the scale is approved.”

He announced that the SCC will hold a general strike on Wednesday and stage a 24-hour sit-in in front of the Education Ministry to press its demands.

Addressing the parents, Gharib said that they should hold MPs responsible to fulfill their pledges.

“They are blackmailing us and you at the expense of our rights and nation,” he declared.

“We have no choice but to confront them together. We have strength in unity,” he added.

“It is time for a million Lebanese and thousands of students to unite and end this dispute in their favor,” he stressed.

“The SCC calls on the parents, students, contract workers, tenants, and all concerned to continue the boycott of the correction of official exams until the new wage scale is approved,” he said.

“We are completely committed to the vows we made regarding the new wage scale,” Gharib continued.

“We will not become embroiled in the political disputes in Lebanon and we will not be dragged towards taking sides. We are not responsible for any lawmaker who does not attend a legislative session,” he stated.

“We reject officials' excuses that the vacuum in the presidency and the turbulent security situation are thwarting the approval of the wage scale,” he said.

“Officials have backed down from numerous agreements and pledges they had made with us. We demand that they fulfill their commitments and therefore hold them responsible for the suspension of the correction of official exams,” he added.

“We call on all lawmakers to perform their duties regarding the approval of the new wage scale,” he continued.

“We will only abandon our rights for the sake of the poor,” remarked Gharib.

The SCC, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, has held numerous strikes and rallies to pressure officials to adopt the new wage scale draft-law.

Parliamentary blocs have expressed their support for the employees' rights but have warned that Lebanon's ailing economy would suffer if the total funding was not reduced from LL2.8 trillion ($1.9 billion) to LL1.8 trillion ($1.2 billion).

They have also disagreed on how to raise taxes to fund the scale over fears of inflation and its affect on the poor.

Their differences have been exacerbated by the boycott of the March 14 alliance's MPs of the sessions aimed at discussing the draft-law under the excuse that parliament should not legislate in the absence of a president.

M.T.

G.K.


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