Public sector workers in Lebanon gear up for more protests
Public sector workers are gearing up for another rally over a proposed pay increase
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Civil servants and public school teachers [in Lebanon] are gearing up to stage a big demonstration near the Education Ministry Tuesday in another bid to pressure the government into passing the salary scale bill to parliament for approval.
“We will demonstrate every day until the officials are convinced that all the teachers and civil servants are entitled to a raise,” Hanna Ghraib, the head of the secondary school teachers association told The Daily Star Friday.
He expected students of public schools to take part in Tuesday’s protests near the Education Ministry.
The Union Coordination Committee will also hold a smaller rally in front of the Ogero building in Bir Hassan Monday.
Ghraib said private school teachers would not participate in the sit-ins and rallies this week but warned that these educators would take to the streets again if Prime Minister Najib Mikati failed to pass the salary scale bill to the Parliament on March 20.
“We are very determined to press ahead with our demands. We don’t want empty promises or speeches. It is time for the Cabinet to act and act now,” Ghraib added.
The civil servants have joined the sit-ins and strikes in large numbers over the past two weeks and observers fear that the suspension of work in most key government departments could affect the revenues of the treasury.
But officials say government employees at the port and the airport have not joined the strike so far.
Most of the state revenues come from Customs and value added tax, both of which are largely collected from the port and airport.
Ministers appear deeply dived over how the wage scale will be financed and this division will likely delay the bill’s transfer to parliament.
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