As Ontario’s community union, CUPE knows that a vibrant public education system builds strong communities and healthy economies. Yet Ontario’s post-secondary education system is in crisis. A university degree has become a prerequisite to pursue many job opportunities. At the same time, skyrocketing tuition fees and the lowest per-student funding in Canada are combining to make post-secondary education inaccessible for an increasing number of Ontarians. Low- and middle-income students who cannot afford the massive tuition fees in our province are being saddled with unmanageable debt, and forced to pay more overall for their education due to interest on their student loans.
CUPE Ontario stands shoulder to shoulder with the student movement, community groups and other allies to put the public back into public education. The Canadian Federation of Students has declared a National Day of Action on November 2 to demand universal access to education, education justice and public education for the public good. CUPE has officially endorsed the Day of Action, and our members will be participating in events across the province. In particular, CUPE Ontario joins CFS-Ontario in calling for:
- the progressive reduction and elimination of tuition fees for all students in the new tuition fee framework,
- the conversion of students loans into non-repayable grants in the 2017 Ontario Budget
- the removal of interest on existing student loans.
When we stand up for our public post-secondary education system, we are fighting for a more equitable, just and fair society for all. CUPE Ontario is extremely proud to represent post-secondary education workers in a variety of fields, from lecturers and custodians to TAs, tradespeople, support staff and researchers. We remain committed to working with our allies to achieve high quality, accessible, public post-secondary education provided by public employees who are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.