(Halifax) CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador will be joining today with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) in their fight for universal access to public, post-secondary education on their National Day of Action.
CUPE President Wayne Lucas says, The decline in access to post-secondary education represents a real crisis for society, and nobody seems to be addressing it.
During the 1990s, tuition fees in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 146%. During this same period, average student debt loads here increased from $8,000 in 1990 to almost $30,000 today. Thats the highest in the country, says Lucas.
Lucas says there are solutions to this crisis, and hes calling on government to:
- Legislate an immediate freeze on tuition fees, followed by a progressive reduction. This would include all post-secondary institutions in the province.
- Increase post-secondary funding, as an investment in our future.
- Reinstate a comprehensive system of grants that are available to all students on the basis of need.
- Call upon the federal government to restore its funding to post-secondary education and to negotiate a national agreement on standards of (1) quality, (2) accessibility, and (3) mobility for post-secondary education.
Says Lucas, This province needs to chart its own course on post-secondary education. We cannot sit back and watch this happen, simply because the federal government has abandoned its commitment on this critical issue.
Wayne Lucas, President, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador
(709) 727-2509 (Cell)
(709) 726-8208 (h)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)