Minister Yap, We Need to Talk

Faculty and staff from across BC's public post-secondary education system call on new Minister to convene a summit to deal with the funding crunch at colleges, universities and institutes.

VANCOUVER, Sept. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The representatives of close to 30,000 faculty and staff who work and teach in BC's colleges, universities and institutes along with the representatives of BC's post-secondary students are calling on the new Minister of Advanced Education, John Yap, to convene a summit of post-secondary education stakeholders to deal with the ongoing funding crunch in BC's post-secondary education system.

"Post-secondary education is critical to BC's future, but unless we can identify ways to improve access and affordability, that future is looking more uncertain," said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators. "The new Minister has an opportunity to chart a new course and this summit could be a positive step in that new direction," Oliver added.

"Students are feeling the pressure of higher tuition fees and increased student debt," said Katie Marocchi, BC Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Unless we find a way to address those problems, the opportunity of a post-secondary education will become more expensive and more restricted," Marocchi stressed.

"Whether it is in areas of student support services or technical training, our members are told to do more with less," added Darryl Walker, President of the BC Government and Services Employees' Union. "You can't strengthen, let alone sustain, our post-secondary institutions following that path," Walker noted.

"The funding crunch in our institutions creates problems in our communities as well," said Barry O'Neill, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees BC. "Our post-secondary institutions play critical roles in every community where they operate, so under-funding problems extend into those communities," said O'Neill.

"Our research universities are critical to BC's long-term success, but those universities are constrained by current funding arrangements," stressed Dr. Richard Kool, President of the Confederation of University Faculty of BC. "If we under-fund those priorities, we are going to short-change BC's future and that's not something that people in BC want to see." Kool noted.

A copy of the letter to Minister Yap calling on him to convene a summit on post-education can be found here: http://fpse.ca/files/uploads/yap120907.pdf

A copy of the letter from institution Presidents to the Minister of Advanced Education can be found here: http://fpse.ca/files/uploads/Lettter_to_Min-AvEd_fr_Col___Univ_Presidents.pdf

SOURCE: Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Phillip Legg, FPSE: 604-788-2877
Chris Bradshaw, BCGEU: 604-369-8411
Tania Jarzebiak, CUPE BC: 604-202-6336
Ian Boyko, Canadian Federation of Students: 778-686-7939
Paul Renier, BCIT Faculty Association: 604-828-7503
Rob Clift, CUFA/BC: 604-817-1649

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Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

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