MONTREAL, March 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Post-Graduate Students' Society of McGill University (PGSS) held its Annual General Meeting this Wednesday. The overwhelming majority of those members in attendance voted to engage the PGSS in a three-day strike in protest of the provincial government decision to increase Quebec tuition fees by 75% over 5 years. The PGSS strike will begin on March 20th and continue until the province-wide demonstration planned for March 22nd in Montreal. This will be the first three-day strike in PGSS' nearly 40 year history as an independent student association. The only other recorded instances of PGSS strikes were one-day strikes held in 1996 and in 2005.
During the strike, the PGSS will be planning information sessions and activities on March 20th and 21st. "The goal of this strike is to encourage graduate students to attend the demonstration on March 22nd in the greatest number possible, and to demonstrate McGill graduate student and postdoctoral fellow support of the Quebec student movement and its mission to keep Quebec post-secondary education affordable to all," commented Mariève Isabel, PGSS VP External. "Students are not asking for more money; they are telling the government that this increase will affect accessibility," Isabel adds.
While accessibility remains a major concern, the role of research in education also needs to be considered, according to Isabel: "The average graduate student is between 26 and 32 years old, earns between 16K$ and 22K$ yearly, works 25h/week on top of studying full-time, all while producing research that is invaluable to both our economy, and to the development and maintenance of civil society. We have to recognize the value of this contribution, and stop asking graduate students to pay more money to produce knowledge that benefits our society as a whole more than it benefits the individual student."
The Post-Graduate Students' Society (PGSS) is an organisation which offers support, advocacy and various services to 8000 graduate students at McGill University.
For further information:
Mariève Isabel, Vice-president to external and governmental affairs, PGSS│Tel.: 514-398-3756│Email: [email protected]