BURNABY – CUPE’s Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee (UCBC) has launched a new campaign to draw attention to the BC Liberals’ abysmal record on funding post-secondary education.
Earlier this year, the Christy Clark government announced a three-year budget plan that will see the total operating grant for post-secondary institutions drop by almost $50 million. By 2016, per-student operating grants will have dropped by more than 20 per cent since 2001, when the BC Liberals took office and changed how universities and colleges receive core funding. Meanwhile, tuition fees have increased more than 80 per cent under the BC Liberals.
Record high tuition fees are another example of the increases that average families are now paying out-of-pocket for public services.
While the BC Liberals have allowed universities to raise tuition costs to levels that significantly limit access to post-secondary education for many young British Columbians, they have also made deep cuts to StudentAidBC and eliminated needs-based grants to students. These changes have negatively impacted students pursuing post-secondary studies. Student debt has risen and accessibility has declined.
“We cannot allow post-secondary education to be pursued only by those with the means to afford its rising costs,” says CUPE BC president Mark Hancock.
The UCBC public campaign runs from mid-September to mid-October. The campaign message will appear in newspapers and on buses, transit shelters and billboards at a post-secondary campus near you: RRU (CUPE 3886 – Royal Roads), SFU (CUPE 3338 – Simon Fraser University), TRU (CUPE 4879 – Thompson Rivers University), UBC (CUPE 2950 – University of British Columbia), UNBC (CUPE 3799 – University of Northern BC), and UVic (CUPE 917, 951 and 4163 / University of Victoria).
The campaign encourages people to take action by sending a letter to the Minister of Advanced Education, Amrik Virk, at: http://universitieswork.cupe.ca/stop-the-cuts/