$16m shortfall for next fiscal year an outrageous reversal of gov't
policy, says union
BURNABY, BC, March 20 /CNW/ - The government's announcement that
university funding is being cut by $16 million province wide is an outrageous
betrayal that makes a mockery of the Campbell Liberals' 2005 election platform
that promised to make higher education a priority for B.C., says the Canadian
Union of Public Employees.
"The government claims it is addressing 'high priority' programs at
colleges and trade schools with these cuts. It is totally outrageous, and
cynical in the extreme, to pit one system against the other," CUPE BC
president Barry O'Neill said today.
"Nor are colleges exempt from the knife. At Camosun, for example, we know
that in addition to base funding cuts, the planned growth funding the college
was anticipating for 112 new FTEs has been withdrawn."
O'Neill added that funding cuts of nearly $9 million for UBC and
$4 million for SFU do not address the thousands of student spaces universities
have added. The government's change of direction trashes its own commitment to
three-year funding frameworks, which allowed institutions to plan for the
longer term so that funding is more stable, he said.
"Before the last election, Gordon Campbell said that making B.C. the
best-educated jurisdiction in North America was one of his 'Five Great Goals
for a Golden Decade'," said O'Neill.
"Well, so much for that promise. The government has given very little
notice, and absolutely no indication of what this will mean in terms of
layoffs, reduced course offerings, and even cancellations. These cuts will
leave our universities scrambling to make up for the shortfall. That's one
hell of a rotten egg to lay on the public just before Easter weekend."
For further information:
For further information: Barry O'Neill, CUPE BC president: (604)
340-6768; Roseanne Moran, CUPE Communications: (604) 291-1940