June 7th Rally #OneYearOfCuts
On June 7th, members of your local participated, with the broader labour movement, in a celebration of defiance against all of the cuts being enacted by the government of Doug Ford.
Most of these cuts are targeting labour jobs, including elementary and highschool teachers, who are facing cut backs and growing classroom sizes, but also beer store and LCBO workers, who would lose their jobs if convenience stores begin to sell alcoholic beverages.
There is of course many cuts that will affect our members directly. There has been a roll back on the number of grants that are available, including those available to individuals with low incomes. There have been changes to OSAP that put greater costs on borrowers, such as the removal of a grace period - making students have to start paying their loans back right away while accruing interest. They will also be tying University funding to 'performance', defined by the salary of those with specific degrees. University funding is also at risk based on the implementation of a 'free speech' mandate that was forced on Universities.
Lastly, a big change, that should be concerning for all unions, is the implementation of the 'student choice initiative', which will allow some students to opt out of certain fees for student unions. Although this doesn't directly affect PSAC, as a labour union, the goal of these kinds of policies is to slowly erode the Rand formula, which is a supreme court decision that protects the existence of labour unions.
We stand in solidarity with Western's Society of Graduate Students, which represents all of our GTA members and some of our PDA members, and will work with them to encourage members to stick with SOGS. We also stand in solidarity with the Canadian Federation of Students, who is currently engaged in a law suit with the Ford government in response to this initiative. We will continue to show up, and stand up, against these cuts; against students, against labour, and against all citizens.