The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is calling on Quebec Premier Jean Charest to defend public and accessible post-secondary education and negotiate in good faith with striking students.
Ottawa (03 May 2012) - More than 170,000 post-secondary students in Quebec have been on strike for the past 12 weeks.
The strike was sparked by the decision of the Charest Liberal government to increase tuition fees by 75 per cent.
The government has refused to negotiate in good faith with the students and instead has sought court injunctions and used threats in an attempt to force students back to school.
NUPGE believes that public and accessible post-secondary education is the foundation of an equitable and sustainable society and economy.
A return to tax fairness in Canada, where the corporate sector and wealthiest individuals paid their fair share, would make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible.
The dramatic tuition fee increases planned by the Quebec government will transfer most of the responsibility for funding post-secondary education from the government to individual students. This seriously erodes the fundamental principle that post-secondary education is a public good which provides broad social and economic benefits that help everyone in Quebec.
The tuition fee increases will make post-secondary education unaffordable for many young people, denying them a chance to reach their full potential. This shatters the fundamental principle that access to post-secondary education should be based on ability not wealth.
NUPGE supports the demand of many in Quebec for more adequate public funding for universities and colleges and urges the Charest government to:
- defend public and accessible post-secondary education;
- negotiate in good faith with students; and
- insist that the federal government reverse recent corporate tax cuts and increase funding for post-secondary education through the Canada Social Transfer.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE