Invest budget surplus says FPSE President

Post-secondary operating grants are not keeping pace with basic needs says Cindy Oliver

"BC has the fiscal capacity to strengthen access to post-secondary education," said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, "but for the last seven years the provincial government has underfunded basic needs in our post-secondary institutions. The February 2009 provincial budget needs to change that pattern in a significant way," Oliver added. Her remarks were made today at the first public hearing of the Legislative Committee on Finance and Government Services. The Committee was in Vancouver to gather input from various presenters on the priorities for the February 2009 provincial budget.

"If post-secondary institutions simply received the same inflation adjusted per-student funding that they had when the BC Liberals took office in 2001, that funding would amount to about $10,184 per-student in 2008. Instead, the current funding level is closer to $9,145 per-student," Oliver noted.

"Those numbers were bad enough, but then our entire system got blind-sided in mid-March when the Minister of Advanced Education announced that operating grants would be cut by 2.6%. Those cuts have made a difficult situation that much worse," Oliver said.

"The fiscal forecast shows that BC has ample room to make the necessary investments in post-secondary education. Our proposal calls for a $200 million increase in funding for post-secondary institutions. That funding increase could be used to dramatically improve access and affordability across the entire system," Oliver added.

Click here to see the full text of Cindy Oliver's presentation to the Legislative Committee

About FPSE

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.