Cuts to higher education will be devastating to students, workers, and research
Students and workers are appalled by the Doug Ford government’s shameful attempt to use a tuition fee reduction as a political gimmick to try and hide a $600 million cut to student grants, a $440 million cut to university and college budgets, all and a petty and vindictive attack on democratic students’ unions.
Ontario’s faculty, staff, and students are united in our opposition to these cuts and attacks, which threaten education quality, accessibility, and student life on campus.
This isn’t a government interested in education quality, students’ rights, or good public policy.
We can’t let Doug Ford jeopardize the future of Ontario’s universities and colleges. We can’t let Doug Ford jeopardize the future of Ontario’s students.
We demand that the government:
Immediately begin consulting with stakeholders in the post-secondary sector rather than unilaterally imposing reckless cuts.
Match the 10% tuition fee reduction with public funding.
Restore OSAP to existing funding levels.
Respect the autonomy of democratic student unions and ancillary fees created through campus-wide referenda.
Despite attempts to silence us, we will not stand idly by while this government attempts to dismantle public education. Students and workers are united in this fight.
A bad day for Ontario students | Canadian Union of Public Employees
These cuts were made without consultation with the University sector, and will have damaging impacts for students for a long time to come”, said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “Doug Ford’s insiders have attempted to cover up a devastating attack on students with a paper-thin discount on tuition that will cost students more in the long run”.
Ford’s Reckless Post-Secondary Education Scheme Will Ensure Only the Rich Can Afford an Education | Ontario Federation of Labour
“The introduction of the ‘Student Choice Initiative’ is an attack on the democracy and autonomy of student unions, which are not-for-profit organizations founded by and for students,” said OFL Executive Vice-President, Ahmad Gaied. Services and representation provided by student unions are paid for by dues that are democratically set by members. These critical services include the coordination of health and dental plans, transit passes, food banks, sexual violence support centres, and academic support and advocacy services. There should be no government interference in students’ democratic decision making. These reforms stifle students’ ability to mobilize and organize on campuses. It reduces political debate and speech on campus as student unions are a necessary platform of engagement for students.
Unifor signals deep concern over PC cuts to colleges, universities | Unifor
“Ontario’s colleges and universities need increased investment to deliver high quality, public post secondary education. The PC’s slight of hand won’t work here. Today’s announcement is a cut, plain and simple,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. Unifor is in support of fully-accessible, public post-secondary education. The union is also concerned that the announcement includes a direct attack on students’ unions. “Students’ unions are democratic, independent organizations that provide vital services and advocacy for all members,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “We have seen Ford’s strategy at work before: if you don’t like your opposition then silence it. This autocratic attack on students is cynical and obvious.”
Reckless government announcement threatens education quality and students’ rights | OCUFA
Without increased public funding for Ontario’s universities and colleges, the Progressive Conservative Government’s announced tuition fee reduction is nothing more than an ill-conceived political gimmick designed to distract Ontarians from damaging cuts to the province’s already under-funded postsecondary education system. OCUFA is generally in favour of tuition fee reductions but not at the expense of core funding and sound student financial aid policy. OCUFA is concerned that the fee reduction, OSAP cuts, and changes to ancillary fees were announced without consulting any stakeholders at the province’s universities or colleges. This demonstrates a government pursuing a political agenda, not one interested in good public policy or helping students.
Doug Ford: WE are the Students | Canadian Federation of Students
Today’s announcement is a devastating one for students and workers in the post-secondary sector in the province of Ontario. The announced “Student Choice Initiative” is a transparent attempt to bankrupt students’ unions in the province who are the most critical of sector underfunding and cuts to needs-based grants. The 10% tuition fee reduction is nothing more than a red herring. The proposed cuts to OSAP will harm those students most in need. Moreover, without an increase to operating funds for institutions, this tuition fee reduction will most likely come at the hands of cuts to campus workers and services. Students and workers in the province of Ontario will fight this announcement. This government does not represent students. Students were not consulted in this process. The Ford government is looking to dismantle public post-secondary education and is attempting to eliminate the opposition to do it. #WeAreTheStudents
Ford Sets Students and Post-Secondary Education on Disastrous Path in Ontario | Canadian Federation of Students
“The Doug Ford government has attempted to spin this announcement as a 10 per cent reduction in tuition fees when in reality Ford’s plan will increase out-of-pocket costs for students, diminish the quality of education students receive and undermine crucial student supports on campus,” said Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. “The reality of loans-based financial aid programs is that students from low-income families pay more for their education in the long-run. This announcement will make life harder for students and their families.”