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Conflict Incident Report

Sidon hospital employees demand salary scale

Date of incident: 
February 15, 2018 to February 19, 2018
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Civilians

Employees of the Sidon Governmental Hospital held a strike, demanding the implementation of the salary scale law.

"It's the same issue, the one we've been demanding for two months, the salary scale law," chairman of the staff’s follow-up committee at the hospital, Khalil Kanaan, said.

Workers closed the hospital’s clinics and laboratories but left the emergency room open, and held a demonstration outside.

"We have 29 government hospitals in Lebanon - that’s 4,000 workers - providing service to 450,000 patients annually," Kannan said.

The salary scale law was passed in June 2017, but six months later, it still hasn't been implemented, despite urging from Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a memo distributed in December 2017.

"We have reached a wall that prompted us to take harsh measures: close the government hospital on Thursday and Friday to emphasize our demands," Kanaan said, warning that if the government doesn't respond, they will escalate their actions.

Employees at the State Employees’ Cooperative meanwhile announced that an open strike will commence at noon Thursday at the Sidon Serail, in protest of the failure to promote them to a Grade 3 job. "We do not want anyone to reward us, we are doing our duty, but at least don't deprive us of our rights," head of the cooperative Laura al-Sinn said. Governor of South Lebanon Mansour Daou joined the strike in solidarity with the government employees. "I can only stand with the [cooperative’s] employees as they have proven their merit and effectiveness ...if they strike, it will affect us all," he said. Public employees are paid according to their job’s grade, with Grade 1 being the highest paid salary.

Government hospital employees across Lebanon brought to a close an open-ended strike Monday after Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani met with their union representatives and agreed to a list of demands. Workers had been striking across the country, with strikes reported in the southern city of Sidon and in front of the Health Ministry in Beirut Monday. Workers demanded the implementation of the salary scale law and called for their working hours to be defined. After meeting with the government workers, Hasbani said he would refer a proposal that limits the employees’ weekly working hours to 35 to Cabinet at the soonest possible time. A list of the agreed-upon issues obtained by The Daily Star also showed Hasbani had ordered hospital administrations to begin preparing workers schedules accordingly as soon as the proposal was agreed upon. Hasbani also called for the implementation of Law 46, the salary scale, but no commitments were made as to when this would take place. The salary scale law was passed in June 2017, but seven months later it has not been consistently implemented. Workers in various government sectors, including teachers and employees of state-run giant Ogero, have been protesting since the adoption of the salary scale due to a lack of change in their wages.
This security incident was mapped according to the closest possible location.
Primary category: 
Collective Action [inc. protests, solidarity movements...]
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Policy conflicts
Conflicts associated with political decisions, government or state policies regarding matters of public concern, such as debates concerning law reforms, electoral laws, and protests of the government’s political decisions, among others.
Classification of conflict(secondary):
Conflicts of socio-economic development
Conflicts associated with lack of, or gaps in economic development, opportunities and access to resources.