It was reported in the fall of 2014 that the Quebec government plans to cut up to $1 billion from education, and more than $200 million from higher education, in the context of austerity measures referred to as “budgetary compressions.” So far, Concordia has begun dealing with the loss of over $18 million by eliminating staff and TA positions. Similar measures are being implemented across all public services.
The Student Representative Council voted to shorten its scheduled October 31 meeting in order to participate in the anti-austerity demonstration that day, joining the Concordia contingent and marching with tens of thousands of others. In total, 82,000 students from various associations across Quebec were on strike for the day.
The Council further voted at its next meeting to support anti-austerity initiatives at Concordia and more generally. Then, at our next General Assembly in February 2015, DOEIGSA members approved the following motion:
Whereas we are living through an era of austerity, where governments are deliberately choosing to diminish their support for public services;
Whereas the government does not demand the wealthy to pay their fair share, and allows for offshore investments;
Whereas austerity measures threaten the wellbeing of a society by negatively affecting such pillars as health and education;
Whereas austerity measures announced by Québec government include cutting funding at every level of education: elementary schools, high schools, cégeps, universities and adult education programs;
Whereas direct cuts to educational institutions and underfunding of educational programs have detrimental consequences not only on our present university studies, but also on our future careers in the field of education;
Whereas the Department of Education Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Association (DOEIGSA) has at the core of its mandate “to engage students in social issues, inside and outside university, which are pertinent to education” (DOEIGSA bylaws, Article 1, Section 1.1).
Be it resolved that DOEIGSA take an official stance against austerity measures;
Be it further resolved that DOEIGSA support other organizations against austerity and act to promote alternatives.
This ongoing campaign is just one of the many ways that DOEIGSA serves our members. If you would like to get involved, please speak with one of your student reps.
[updated February 2015]