Shocking numbers tell the story: low-income students at SFU lose residence

An article in today’s Vancouver Sun about the closure of a low-income residence exposes the level of chronic underfunding at SFU with some shocking numbers.

A 2011 report found that 53 per cent of campus buildings are in “poor” condition while SFU racked up $717 million in deferred building maintenance. In 2011 the province slashed SFU’s annual $6.6-milllion capital allowance for maintenance to a mere $500,000. (It is now at $2.2 million.)

According to The Sun, SFU concedes that long-term neglect has now doomed the 50-year old Louis Riel House, a low-income family residence. The closure means that some students will be forced to give up their graduate studies. Sixty students, some with families, will need to find alternate accommodation by the end of August.

Click on “Stop the Cuts” to send a message to B.C. Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson.

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UCBC launches campaign to stop cuts to post-secondary education

The Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee is drawing attention to the BC Liberals’ abysmal record on funding post-secondary education through a public campaign that launches this week.

The campaign runs from mid-September to October and can be seen on buses, transit shelters, billboards and university campuses throughout B.C. The public is urged to visit universities to send a letter to Minister of Advanced Education, Amrik Virk.

Every single person in society benefits from post-secondary education – whether it’s receiving direct services from a trained public health professional or indirectly, such as by travelling on highways or over bridges designed by qualified engineers. A post-secondary education system that is fully funded and well-run is important to every community and every person in our province.

CUPE represents university employees whose work is as diverse in its scope as the backgrounds of the students who attend. From educators, TAs and research assistants to trades people, landscapers, support staff and technicians, we help maintain B.C.’s vibrant, diverse and high-quality universities.

CUPE members are committed to working with students and other university stakeholders to protect and enhance our public post-secondary education system. After all, post secondary education benefits us all.

Take action by clicking on the “Stop the Cuts” tab.

Website adds new links on current affairs related to sector

VANCOUVER – Members wanting more news about education sectors will notice three new items under “Other Links.”

The new links cover a CBC story on soaring tuition as a result of decreased government transfers; a new CCPA study examining tuition fees in Canada; and an opinion piece from the Prince George Citizen about taxes which argues that a decreasing tax base means there’s enough money to fully fund our K-12 education system.

CUPE 2278 hosts “We are Wisconsin” film event

CUPE 2278, Teaching Assistants at UBC, hosted a film screening and panel discussion on March 10.  They screened the film “We are Wisconsin” that documents events in Madison in early 2011 when a newly-elected Republican governor tried to destroy collective bargaining for public employees.  Panelists discussed both what happened in Wisconsin and ongoing attacks on Canadian Labour by the Harper and BC Liberal govern­ments.