Cabinet to convene in coming days over public sector salaries
Cabinet will convene in the coming days to discuss the education file and the public employees salaries, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported Monday.
The daily said it has learned from ministerial sources close to caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati that the ministry of finance is preparing reports and tables for the salary adjustments and incentives to be given to the public sector employees, including the members of the armed forces.
Public schools have been empty for most of the past three months, as striking teachers have been protesting to demand pay raises.
Most of the country’s children have not been in school for months — many since even before teachers, who say they can no longer live on their salaries, went on strike in December. Lebanon was once known for producing a highly skilled, educated work force. But now an entire generation is missing out on schooling, wreaking long-term damage on prospects for the country's economy and future.
Teachers called their strike because their salaries, in Lebanese pounds, have became too low to cover rent and other basic expenses. Most teachers are now paid the equivalent of about $1 an hour, even after several raises since 2019. Grocery stores and other businesses now usually price their goods in dollars.
Teachers are demanding adjusted salaries, a transportation stipend, and health benefits. The government only offered to partially cover transportation, saying it didn’t have the budget for more. Though schools partially reopened last week after some teachers returned to work, most chose to continue striking.