FPSE: A History of Activism
In 1991, the FPSE (then CIEA) produced and circulated 250,000 copies of an election pamphlet titled Today’s education – Tomorrow’s Opportunities: An Advanced Education and Training Agenda for British Columbians, marking the federation’s first foray into electoral activism.
We argued that all British Columbians should be able to receive the post-secondary education they need or want, and that our future depends upon removing all barriers to advanced education – financial, geographic, language, gender or disability. We understood then, as we do now, that our future depends upon government making stable, long-term investments in post-secondary education.
Since then, our advocacy has expanded in print and online, and the federation takes an active role in advocating for post-secondary education during elections.
IN 1991 WE PROPOSED:
- That post-secondary education be treated as an investment in the future of our province, rather than an expense to be slashed when times are tough.
- That B.C. commit itself to meet at least the national standard for the participation of students in post-secondary education.
- That B.C. spend at least the national average on student assistance programs.
- That B.C. offer post-secondary students a universal non-repayable grant as do other provinces and that high student debtload be eliminated.
- That tuition fees for students, which are among the highest in the country, be frozen.
- That the real costs of quality post-secondary education be recognized and provided and that funding be put in place to repair our post-secondary system and improve quality, as well as to support enrolment growth.
- That funding per student be returned to at least its 1981/82 level plus inflation.
- That the government immediately provide additional funds to support career, technology and vocational programs.
- That the provincial government make a commitment to our public post-secondary system. Privatization of vocational and career programs is neither cost-efficient nor does it guarantee all qualified students an affordable, quality education.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.