Post-secondary education is a right not a privilege
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is a strong advocate of accessible high quality public post-secondary education.
CUPE members are middle and lower income families who hope to send their children to university or college or attend post-secondary institutions ourselves. We are the librarians, custodians, municipal workers, flight attendants, hydro workers, university workers, social service workers, health care workers, administrative workers, cooks and bus drivers.
Universities and colleges are a public social good. These institutions are the means where people can learn to participate in our democratic communities. With privatization and higher fees, education is being transformed from a means for enhancing involvement in our democratic institutions to simply job training to feed the economy.
Universities have drifted away from being a vibrant and vital public space within our communities to increasingly a private space controlled by private interests.
For many middle and lower income families wanting to send their children to university or college, tuition fees have been considered the traditional barrier to access. Over the past decade the costs of accessing post-secondary education has soared.
CUPE supports increased federal and provincial funding to public universities and colleges. Universities need to be a good place for learning and working with decent wages and conditions of employment.
CUPE supports a freeze on tuition fees with a view to rolling back tuition fees. We see education as an investment and benefit to all Canadians. The grants program must be re-vamped and a system of needs-based grants developed to be available to any student in need.
CUPE opposes to the massive federal cuts to postsecondary institutions, which has forced universities and colleges to court the private sector as a source of funding. This new approach to securing funding has direct consequences on what type of research will be funded and corporate influence has transformed our public postsecondary communities to private spaces.
CUPE opposes the privatization and the commercialization of post secondary education. Post-secondary education is a public good, which should not be sold in the market place as a commodity. Canadians do not want private, for- profit universities and colleges in our education system.
Education is a benefit to all Canadians. Our Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions build stronger communities, are an integral part of our communities, and must be there for each and every citizen. Increasing access to education provides benefits to society as well as the individual.