The student and union movement have been long-time allies in the fight for properly resourced public services, good jobs, strong communities, and a more just and equal society. We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you and the students your organization unites. When public services, workers, jobs, pay and benefits have come under attack, students have been there on the front lines – waving your banner high and proud in support of our members. In the spirit of solidarity that has united our movements for so long, we will be proud to return that favour on November 2 at campuses and communities across Newfoundland and Labrador.
The fight for affordable and accessible post-secondary education is also a fight for equality, for justice, for strong public services, and for good jobs. It is a fight for a better future for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, regardless of their socio-economic background, gender, age, ethnicity, disability, orientation, or place of origin.
I firmly believe that education is the great equalizer; it is the tool by which barriers are broken down and people are given the resources they need to rise up and realize their full potential. There should be nothing that stands in the way of those that have the ability and desire to pursue their post-secondary educational aspirations. This is not only good moral policy; it simply makes good economic sense.
These are difficult times in our province, but we must ensure that the government understands that closing campuses, reducing grants, or increasing tuition fees only serves to download the cost of education and the resulting debt on the individual, which will have long term negative impacts, not only for the individual, but for our society as a whole. It is in these tough times that we must invest in our post-secondary education system, in our students, and in our collective future. At a time when over 75% of all new jobs created require some level of post-secondary, college and university has become the new high school – we should treat it as such.
So long as we continue to work together towards building a better world, one where no one is left behind, the students and workers will never be defeated. We wish you the very best in planning for your Day of Action.
Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees