FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Winnipeg, MB, April 30, 2020
MOFA demands accountability, investment in PSE
Rally called for May 1, 12pm – MB Legislature
Demand for public education has increased because of the pandemic’s effects on the economy, with faculty members reporting summer enrollments that appear to be higher than in years past.
In a time of fiscal crisis we need investments, not cuts, to public services to ensure we come out of this recession with a head start on recovery.
“Post-Secondary Education is one of Manitoba’s most important economic drivers, and in times like these demand for education increases”, said MOFA President Scott Forbes. “After decades of underfunding, Mr. Pallister's cuts will make things worse, and at the worst possible time. We should be moving in the opposite direction, so that we can prepare our students for the new, post-pandemic economy.”
Many academics, union representatives, and business leaders in the province have come out against the cuts, announced by the government over two weeks ago.
The media has also reported that experts who created the economic data cited by the government disagree with the government’s statements about the data.
Even more shockingly, the government rejected proposals from the University of Manitoba that would potentially avoid salary cuts and lay-offs yet still meet the government’s financial goals. The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) confirms this.
In response to this swell of opposition, the government of Manitoba must:
- Publicly acknowledge that the province of Manitoba is in the middle of the pack with respect to provincial debt to GDP levels in Canada. Like other provinces, it has the power to invest in the future.
- Cancel all cuts to the public sector and fund all the public services necessary to ensure our economy and social fabric will outlast the virus.
- Provide a clear plan for economic recovery that acknowledges the need to maintain a vital public sector, including post-secondary education.
- Provide detailed information on how much, and where, our tax money is being spent to ensure the health of Manitobans.
- Acknowledge that the provincial government is sending mixed messages: in public they claim their cuts are temporary, but in private they say they are permanent, and they refuse proposals that would avoid layoffs.
- Instead of diminishing public institutions vital to the economic and social fabric of the province, the government must increase University funding and autonomy!
In support of these demands, MOFA members – professors, instructors, lecturers, librarians, and archivists – will join a honk-a-thon rally organized by Communities Not Cuts at the Legislature on Friday, May 1 at noon.
For more information contact:
Vice President, MOFA