|Teachers' strike among 'most successful' in union's history
|Private and public school teachers, as well as Lebanese university professors and instructors, held a strike on Thursday to call for an increase of their salaries, which have remained flat since 1996. Nehme Mahfoud, who heads the Teachers Union for private schools, said that the strike was being carried out throughout Lebanon and across all educational fields, adding that "this is one of the most successful strikes in the union's history."
Mahfoud also said that Education Minister Khaled Qabbani had informed union members that the Cabinet would discuss the teachers' demands during its regular session next week.
The call for a general strike came from the Teachers Union on Tuesday, and was reportedly upheld by both public and private schools across the country, including the Hermel region, Jbeil, Jezzine, Koura, Tebnine and Zahle.
Although the cost of living in Lebanon has steadily increased each year since the end of the Civil War in 1991, salaries across Lebanon have remained fixed for more than a decade.
Political tension, military disruptions, and fluctuating investor confidence levels that mirror the regional situation have made economic growthTrillion-Dollar-Experiment somewhat erratic, and this has contributed to the general lag in salaries.
The 2006 summer war arguably derailed Lebanon's nascent economic recovery by undermining confidence, chasing away investment, and halting projects already under development, while the political standoff in Lebanon has only worsened the economic outlook of the country.
Still, the Teachers Union in Tyre, at a meeting held during the strike on Thursday, argued for the "necessity of responding to our demands, despite the delicate general economic situation" in the country.
The Daily Star