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UCC calls for public sector strike in demand of wage hike.

Summary: The Union Coordination Committee has called for a public sector strike Tuesday to demand a wage hike, on the same day the Parliament Secretariat meets to set the agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

BEIRUT: The Union Coordination Committee has called for a public sector strike Tuesday to demand a wage hike, on the same day the Parliament Secretariat meets to set the agenda for the upcoming legislative session. The Cabinet approved a new salary scale in 2012, but the bill has languished before Parliament. The UCC, a coalition of unions representing public and private school teachers and public sector employees, is demanding its passage.

But the Association of Private School Teachers, led by Nehme Mahfoud, announced it would not join the strike, sapping the event of some of its potency. It cited the responsibility to return to the classroom following All Saints Day Holiday, and asked each school to send delegates to the UCC rally in Downtown Beirut, instead. The rally will occur at Riad al-Solh Square at 11 a.m.

In a statement released Monday, the Association said, "We are an essential component of UCC, but our circumstances are particular. There is diversity within a unified movement. We will press on in the future with all components of the UCC to realize the demands of the teachers and [public sector] employees and all beneficiaries of the salary scale."

The strike coincides with next session of the national dialogue roundtable of heads of political blocs, set to begin at noon at Parliament.

The UCC last organized a strike on Oct. 26, but with only modest participation, most schools and public institutions remained open.

Also Monday, a UCC delegation met with members from Progressive Socialist Party and Democratic Gathering bloc, to renew its call for a balanced budget from Parliament. "We affirm our support for the legislature, as the welfare and livelihood of citizens cannot bear any more delay."

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Nov 3, 2015
Words:336
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