VICTORIA—News that a provincial post-secondary education funding freeze will result in an effective cut to Camosun College’s operating budget of at least $1.5 million this year alone demonstrates that the BC Liberals are out of touch with the priorities of students and their families, CUPE Local 2081 said today. Camosun College administration has informed the union that the budget cut will require job losses.
“We're obviously very disappointed by the decision,” said CUPE Local 2081 Vice President Tony Nelson. “We’ve been saying for years that the provincial refusal to properly fund post-secondary education would result in lower quality education, but year after year the BC Liberals have refused to make the necessary investments. Now, after more than ten years of BC Liberal cuts to post-secondary education, colleges like Camosun are feeling the financial squeeze, and the kinds of cuts they're making are going to have a negative impact on the quality of education for students here.”
Nelson said that Camosun will find itself under the gun again next year, as the BC Liberal government has already announced its plan to freeze funding for two years.
“It's such a short-sighted approach, and it's making education worse, not better. The BC Liberals tell us every day how young people need education and skills to make it in the new economy, yet their Premier and government continue to cut back, and the College continues to pass those cuts down the line,” said Nelson.
“From a supposedly ‘business-friendly’ government, this policy of cutting funding for education at the same time as demand for skilled and educated workers is growing makes no sense,” said Nelson. “And for a premier who claims to put ‘families first’ it makes even less sense. This is the perfect time for an investment in post-secondary education. It’s clear that in tough times, public education funding can actually be an economic stimulus.”
CUPE Local 2081 represents almost 600 members at Camosun College, including the Camosun College Student Society Sub Local staff.