Education Minister Calls on MPs to Attend Pay Hike Session: Official Exams a Priorityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Education Minister Elias Bou Saab urged lawmakers on Saturday to attend next week's parliamentary session to approve the new pay hike.
“Our priority is to stage the official exams,” Bou Saab told reporters at the General Directorate of Technical Education in Dikwaneh after talks with the Federation of Private Educational Institutions.
He revealed that he will hold talks with several parliamentary blocs ahead of Tuesday's session to urge lawmakers to attend it and approve the new wage scale.
The tour will include head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc Fouad Saniora, he said.
“If the parliament fails to endorse the pay hike draft-law we will plunge into a crisis, which is linked to the whole society,” warned Bou Saab, who is loyal to the Free Patriotic Movement.
He added that the FPM's stance regarding the matter is “clear.”
“All parliamentary blocs should assume their responsibility,” Bou Saab said.
The minister said that the “crisis can no longer endure further delay... We support the demands of the teachers... But we are also interested in preserving the interests of the students.”
He expressed understanding to “any stance that would be taken by the Syndicate Coordination Committee if the draft-law wasn't approved,” holding the state “responsible” for any escalatory measures.
The SCC is a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees.
“We will not give up our role in carrying out the official exams, which will take place even if it was in an unprecedented manner.”
On Wednesday, the SCC declared a general strike at all ministries and public institutions on June 9 and 10, holding “the MPs who obstructed legislation for several months” responsible for a possible postponement of official school exams.
The differences on the pay raise have led to wide range protests and strikes by public sector employees and teachers who are holding onto a 121 percent increase in their salaries.
But the ministerial-parliamentary committee has proposed to reduce the total funding from LL2.8 trillion ($1.9 billion) to LL1.8 trillion ($1.2 billion).