MONTRÉAL, March 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, after years of vicious cuts to social services, the Couillard government announced a balanced budget with great fanfare. "The reinvestment for this year of less than $200 million in higher education announced today for the upcoming year is little more than window dressing. Recall that since 2012, the government has cut nearly $737 million," indicated Isaac Stethem, Communications Coordinator at AVEQ.
AVEQ calls on the Government of Québec to cancel these successive cuts, and rein in administrators being paid astronomical salaries. "While the rector of the Université de Montréal is earning over $400,000 a year, professors are denouncing hiring freezes and job cuts, and student employees at UQAM have been on strike for over 100 days, Mr. Leitao is trying to pull the wool over our eyes with his old tricks," according to Nicolas Hamon, Internal Coordinator at AVEQ.
AVEQ invites the government to tackle the real problems in education: the under-funding of universities, which exceeds $1 billion, tuition fees that have risen 162% in real terms since 1990, and obligatory institutional fees, which have risen 66% in real terms since 2005 at some institutions. AVEQ reiterates that massive public reinvestment into postsecondary education is necessary to resolve these problems. Instead, by investing a total of $165 million in student services and $700 million in infrastructure across the entire education system, the government seems to be ignoring the expectation of the higher education sector, and has missed the mark once again.
AVEQ's mission is to defend both Anglophone and francophone students, with particular attention to the realities of students in the regions. AVEQ currently represents 33,000 Québec students, and hopes to represent over 70,000 by the end of spring. This statement is also endorsed by the Association générale des étudiant(e)s de l'UQTR.
SOURCE Association for the Voice of Education in Québec
For further information: Media contact: Isaac Stethem, Communications Coordinator, AVEQ, [email protected], 1-888-994-9177 x1