PM: Government Will Not Back Down from Decision on New Wage Scaleإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati denied claims that the government may be backing down from its agreement over a new wage scale, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday.
He told the daily ahead of his trip to New York that the decision was taken at cabinet and discussions are ongoing to find the sources of its funding.
“The government is taking its time in this matter because it does not want to burden the people or the economy,” he explained.
He questioned the Syndicate Coordination Committee's threat to resume a strike over the new wage scale, deeming it as “unjustified” seeing as the government is determined to go ahead with its decision over the matter.
“What are they protesting against?” he wondered.
The premier traveled to New York on Saturday in order to take part in the United Nations General Assembly.
Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi had previously told An Nahar that he has so far succeeded in providing $450 million from the state treasury to pay for cost of living expenses.
Earlier this month, the cabinet approved the new salaries scale for public employees ending a long dispute that had prompted the Syndicate Coordination Committee, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, to hold several sit-ins and strikes.
The government's wages increase will be retroactive from July 1, 2012, but the salary adjustments would be paid in installments over a period of five years.
The state treasury will have more than $1.2 billion to cover as there are over 180,000 public sector employees including military personnel.
The government plans to boost the treasury’s revenue to cover the expenses of the salaries boost through several proposals including the implementation of a hike on taxes on land parcels and sea properties.