Job Posting: Day of Action Fieldworker

The Canadian Federation of Students seeks a Day of Action Fieldworker, based in St. John’s, NL, to help with organizing the November 2 National Day of Action in the region.

Type:                     Part-time position, three-month contract
Salary:                  Salary of $18.50 per hour
Hours:                  Flexible, approximately 10-20 per week

Responsibilities:

The Day of Action Fieldworker shall undertake duties as directed by the Federation’s Provincial Organizer. Such duties will include but will not be limited to:

    • On campus outreach and promotion;
    • Planning and facilitating local organizing committees;
    • Volunteer recruitment and training;
    • Signing up students for action and involvement;
    • Presenting to campus clubs;
    • Regular reporting to the CFS provincial office;
    • Data entry

Qualifications:

    • Enrolled as a student for the fall 2016 term;
    • Strong public speaking ability;
    • Experience in campaigns organising;
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
    • Current and in-depth experience in the student movement in Canada;
    • Current and in-depth knowledge of issues facing post-secondary students in Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador;
    • Experience with the Microsoft Office suite;
    • Willingness to travel

The Canadian Federation of Students is an employment equity employer. Applications from all qualified candidates are welcome; in particular, applications are encouraged from racialized people, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, queer and trans people, and women.

Only those candidates contacted for an interview will be notified. Multiple jobs may be posted, please use the following subject line: “Application: Day of Action Fieldworker” Submit applications to m.walsh@cfs-nl.ca.

Deadline for Application: August 19th, 2016

Despite Threats of Massive Fee Hikes, Memorial University Approves Budget With No New Fee Increases

KeepTheFreeze-May19-6Since the late 90s, students in Newfoundland and Labrador have consistently won tuition fee reductions, tuition fee freezes, improved student financial assistance, and increased funding for our post-secondary institutions. These victories are a direct result of our unity and our collective action.

This year, students ran a comprehensive provincial election campaign, we lobbied the new government and university administration, and continued to take action ahead of the provincial budget. Along with labour and community groups, we’ve been at the forefront of the fight against regressive cuts that will negatively impact the economy and the people of this province.

Over the past several months, Memorial University’s administration has made it clear that they are interested in hiking tuition fees for all students. From the university president’s comments in academic council meetings, to the provost’s well-publicised blog post, it was clear that the administration was interested in downloading the cost of cuts to public funding onto the backs of students. Students fought back against these proposals, and we won.

At Thursday’s Board of Regents’ meeting the Board chose not to move forward with any new fee hikes. This a win for students, and for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. As MUN Faculty Association Vice President, JohnChurch, said at our rally yesterday, investments in education pay off in the long run through increased economic activity and reduced expenditures on health care and the justice system. A tuition fee freeze benefits us all.

Everybody who has taken action since the provincial austerity budget in April budget, students, community and labour groups and concerned citizens alike, can all share in this major victory for Newfoundland and Labrador. Collective action works. If we keep up the pressure, we can reverse unfair cuts and build the fairer more prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador that we all deserve.

However, Thursday’s victory is bittersweet, and our work is not over. Though the budget contained no new fee hikes, it did not reverse the scheduled hikes for medical and graduate students, and students living on campus. We have our work cut out for us over the next few months to encourage the Board of Regents to reverse these cuts, and to continue to prioritize accessibility and quality over administrative excess.

Join the growing movement to Save Public Education in the province (sign up for our mailing list here).

By working together, we can build a system of accessible, high-quality post-secondary education in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In solidarity,

Travis Perry
Newfoundland and Labrador Chairperson
Canadian Federation of Students

Students to Government – Come Clean About CNA Review

ST. JOHN’S – Students are calling on government to publicize their plans for College of the North Atlantic after a Liberal MHA’s comments raised concerns about the college’s future.

This week, at a protest organized by NAPE, Neil King, Liberal MHA for Bonavista, admitted to protestors that he has been sitting on a committee to fight to keep the community’s CNA campus open.

“Government should let the people of the province in on the secret that Mr. King let slip. Is the Liberal government planning to close rural CNA campuses as part of their ongoing attack on public education?” said Alex Noel, Treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Students – Newfoundland and Labrador. “CNA campuses are important economic drivers in many communities across Newfoundland and Labrador, and the people in those communities have a right to know if the future of their campus is on the line.”

When asked about these comments in the House of Assembly, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, Gerry Byrne, did not deny that cuts could be coming to the province’s only public college.

“Studies have shown that every dollar invested in College of the North Atlantic results in an eleven dollar and fifty cent return for Newfoundland and Labrador,” added Noel. “Investments in College of the North Atlantic are investments in our collective future.”

In early March the Opposition Critic for Advanced Education and Skills issued a press release about rumours that College of the North Atlantic campuses could be slated for closure. Budget 2016 included language about a review of CNA.

“This government has already begun to starve public education through cuts to grants, Memorial University and K-12 education, a book tax and the closure of over half of the province’s libraries,” continued Noel. “Students and their communities deserve an honest and transparent review process and a path to save public education, including our CNA campuses.”

The Canadian Federation of Students – Newfoundland and Labrador represents every public post-secondary student in the province.

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For further information please contact:

Michael Walsh – Newfoundland and Labrador Organizer
709.737.3204 (office), 709.685.3203 (cell), m.walsh@cfs-nl.ca

Students Disrupt Minister of Finance – Call for Restoration of Needs-Based Grants Program

Corner Brook – In protest of cuts to the needs-based grants program, students unrolled a banner that read “Grants Not Loans” and disrupted a presentation by the Minister of Finance at a breakfast hosted by the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade this morning.

“Budgets are about choices, and this government has made the choice to ignore the youth and people of Newfoundland and Labrador and instead prioritize the interests of the wealthy,” said Sara Langer, Vice President of the Grenfell Campus Student Union. “Cuts to the needs-based grants program will impact our most vulnerable students. We will not stay silent in the face of this injustice.”

The 2016 budget cut the needs-based grants program and reinstated provincial student loans for a portion of the assistance that students receive. This change will mean that some students could graduate with as much as $6,700 in additional student debt after a four-year degree. Despite using every avenue available to them to voice their concerns, students’ calls for the Liberal Government to re-instate a full system of needs-based grants have been ignored.

“As someone who has worked multiple part-time jobs while still taking on massive debt, I know first hand the impact that these cuts to the grants program will have,” said Gary Savoury, a student who participated in the demonstration. “I want to stay in this province after graduation and raise a family here, but as my student debt continues to rise I become more and more worried about finding a decent job right away in order to pay down that debt, even if that job takes me outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

GrantsnotLoans

Membership Advisory: NL Budget 2016

GRANTS

5.5 MILLION DOLLAR CUT

The reintroduction of provincial student loans will disproportionately impact some of the province’s most vulnerable students.

The needs-based grants program has been proven to reduce student debt. Ensuring new graduates are able to afford
to buy homes, start families, take the risks associated with entrepreneurship and do all of the things that stimulate our economy is important now more than ever.

The elimination of the loans program in favour of needs based grants was so successful in supporting our most vulnerable students in accessing post-secondary education that jurisdictions across the country, including our federal government, have been moving towards student nancial assistance programs modelled after Newfoundland and Labrador’s. This cut is a step in the wrong direction.

Saddling our most vulnerable students with massive debt is not the way to a stronger economy, now or for the future.

TUITION FEES

5.1 MILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT

$1.1 million has been provided to the College of the North Atlantic for the continuation of the tuition fee freeze. The provincial government has provided $4.0 million to the university for the maintenance of a tuition fee freeze. It is our position that the university must maintain a freeze on all tuition and ancillary fees for all students. As a public institution Memorial must be accountable to the people of this province and spend this funding in the way it has been intended.

CUT TO MUN

14 MILLION DOLLAR CUT

Memorial University, while still dealing with the fallout of a massive budget cut in 2015, has faced yet another signi cant cut. Chronic underfunding erodes the quality of programs and services that students rely on. We cannot maintain high-quality, accessible post- secondary education without adequate government funding.

We all must remain vigilant to ensure that these cuts have as little impact as possible on the student experience. Our highly paid administrators must be accountable to the university community.

REVIEW OF CNA

Budget 2016 documents describe “Engaging with the College of the North Atlantic in a review to ensure the college is best meeting the needs of students and its course offerings are optimized and responsive to shifting labour demands.”

Governments sometimes use the guise of a review to propose cuts to public services in a more palatable form. We will work to ensure students’ voices are heard during this review process and will not allow government to make cuts to our public college system – a system that is vital to the social and economic well-being of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

ADDITIONAL CHANGES

  • $3.2 million cut to the Research and Development Corporation.
  • Cuts to Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine including a reduction in the operational grant of $4 million annually.
  • Introduction of new fees for apprentices.
  • Reduction and subsequent elimination of post-secondary and apprenticeship scholarships.
  • Integration of the Post-Secondary Training Services Program for persons with disabilities into the Student Loan Program.

Student-Worker Solidarity Solidified Following CNA’s Retraction

 

ST. JOHN’S – Students welcome the affirmation from College of the North Atlantic President, Ann Marie Vaughn that faculty and staff have the right to participate in student-led campaigns without fear of backlash from their employer.

“It’s important that our faculty, instructors, and staff can join students to work together to defend public post-secondary education in the province without fear of reprisal,” said Travis Perry, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador. “We know that cuts to the College of the North Atlantic would not only be felt by students, faculty, and staff but would also have a negative impact on communities right across Newfoundland and Labrador.”

On Monday, President Vaughn made an official apology in regards to a memo that was sent out by the College warning faculty and staff against attending a student organized town hall about potential cuts to education. Students on CNA campuses across the province have been organising open meetings ahead of the upcoming budget. These meetings provide an opportunity for students, faculty and community members to voice their concerns about anticipated cutbacks.

“We know that students are not alone in our fight to defend public education in Newfoundland and Labrador,” added Perry. “Our public college and university system has a huge impact on our province’s social and economic fabric. Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian has a stake in its success.”

CNA is a critical training institution and economic driver in Newfoundland and Labrador. According to a C.C. Benefits Study, every dollar invested in the College of the North Atlantic results in an $11.50 return. The College’s contribution is apparent in communities throughout the province and it is imperative that all stakeholders are given the opportunity to share their personal experiences and shape its future direction. Students will work with our coalition partners to denounce any threats to the College of the North Atlantic that may appear in budget 2016.

The Canadian Federation of Students – Newfoundland and Labrador represents every public post-secondary student in the province.

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For further information please contact:

Michael Walsh – Newfoundland and Labrador Organizer
709.737.3204 (office), 709.685.3203 (cell), m.walsh@cfs-nl.ca

Students Ready to Work With New Government to Keep the Tuition Freeze

ST JOHN’S –Students congratulate the newly elected Liberal government led by Dwight Ball and look forward to working with them and all Members of the House of Assembly to build accessible, affordable, high quality post-secondary education in the province.

In response to a questionnaire posed to all parties by the Canadian Federation of Students, Mr. Ball committed to maintaining the tuition freeze for Newfoundland and Labrador residents and to craft a plan ‘informed and inspired by stakeholders like the Canadian Federation of Students’. “For more than 15 years, successive provincial governments in Newfoundland and Labrador have improved access to education,” said Travis Perry, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador. “Mr. Ball has extended his hand to students in this election, and we are prepared to work together to continue this proud tradition.”

Throughout the election, students were clear in their demand to all parties to commit to keep the freeze for all students studying in Newfoundland and Labrador. Thousands of students who have come from outside the province to study, work and live in Newfoundland and Labrador remain concerned that they may see tuition hikes under Mr. Ball’s new government. Additionally, while Mr. Ball committed to open collaboration in determining core-operating grants for the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University, no tangible commitments were made to restoring the recent $20 million and $15 million funding cuts.

The Keep The Freeze campaign has demonstrated that students in Newfoundland and Labrador are organized and ready to protect our reputable system of accessible, affordable, high-quality post-secondary education, and that our communities will stand with us. A recent public opinion poll by Abacus Data commissioned by the Federation suggests than any move to dismantle the tuition fee freeze would be grossly out of touch with the values of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. 92% of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians believe that we must take action to help students afford to go to college or university and 82% of voters support maintaining the tuition fee freeze in the province.

“We will not rest until all students in the province are afforded an opportunity to pursue the college and university education that today’s young people need to succeed,” said Perry.

The Canadian Federation of Students – Newfoundland and Labrador represents every public post-secondary student in the province.

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For further information please contact:

Michael Walsh – Newfoundland and Labrador Organizer
709.737.3204 (office), 709.685.3203 (cell), m.walsh@cfs-nl.ca

Successful Population Growth Strategy Starts With Tuition Freeze

ST. JOHN’S- With less than 2 weeks until Newfoundlanders and Labradorians take to the polls, students are calling on all parties to make the obvious choice when it comes to a population growth strategy. Maintaining the tuition fee freeze for all students is a proven and successful method for growing our population and is overwhelmingly supported by voters in this province.

“The people of this province support accessible post-secondary education with good reason,” said Travis Perry, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador, “an increase in tuition would erect a wall around Newfoundland and Labrador, barring skilled young people from joining our communities.”

In the face of a declining birth rate and an aging population, the tuition fee freeze has been successful at recruiting and retaining young people to the province. Since the introduction of the freeze, out-of-province student enrolment at Memorial University has increased by 411 percent while international student enrolment has increased by 350 percent. According to a recent survey, more than 43 percent of out-of-province students and 71 percent of international students are still in Newfoundland and Labrador two years after graduating.

A recent public opinion poll by Abacus Data commissioned by the Federation suggests that any move to dismantle the tuition fee freeze would be grossly out of touch with the values of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. 92% of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians believe that we must take action to help students afford to go to college or university. While 82% of voters support maintaining the tuition fee freeze in the province, 85% of voters support a policy of free college and university in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Download the report here.

 

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students from coast to coast. All 28,000 public post-secondary students in Newfoundland and Labrador are united as members of the Federation. The Federation and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

For more information contact:

Michael Walsh, Newfoundland and Labrador Organizer, 709.685.3203, m.walsh@cfs-nl.ca

 

Polling conducted by Abacus Data for the Canadian Federation of Students in November 2015. The random live-interview telephone survey was conducted with 500 eligible voters living in Newfoundland and Labrador. The margin of error for a probability-based random sample of 800 respondents using a probability sample is +/- 4.0 percent, 19 times out of 20.

Students Welcome First Party Commitment to Keep the Freeze from the NDP

Following students’ provincial day of action on November 12, the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP is the first party to commit to keeping the tuition freeze for all students. In this morning’s announcement, NDP leader Earl McCurdy pointed to the need to attract and retain young people to the province, and to maintain an competitive economic edge through accessible education. “The commitment to keep the freeze is in the best interest of students and their families, and is in the best interest of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Travis Perry, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador. Students will continue to take action until all parties commit to maintaining the tuition freeze for all students and restoring harmful funding cuts to the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University.

Students hold provincial day of action

On Wednesday, November 12, students are participating in a provincial day of action to call upon all parties to restore education funding and keep the tuition freeze for all students. The “Keep the Freeze” campaign is a call to provincial parties to keep public education accessible for all students.

Tell the leaders that you support the tuition fee freeze now.

Local actions will be hosted by students at the following campuses

College of the North Atlantic– Bay St. George

College of the North Atlantic – Baie Verte

College of the North Atlantic – Bonavista

College of the North Atlantic- Carbonear

College of the North Atlantic – Channel-Port aux Basques

College of the North Atlantic – Clarenville

Memorial University of Newfoundland- Grenfell Campus with students from the College of the North Atlantic – Cornerbrook

College of the North Atlantic– Gander

College of the North Atlantic – Grand Falls-Windsor

College of the North Atlantic- Happy Valley-Goose Bay

College of the North Atlantic – Labrador West

College of the North Atlantic – Prince Philip Drive

College of the North Atlantic – Ridge Road, with students from the Marine Institute

College of the North Atlantic- St. Anthony

Memorial University of Newfoundland – St. John’s

 

For further information please contact Michael Walsh, Newfoundland and Labrador Organizer at;

(office) 709.737.3204

(cell) 709.685.3203

m.walsh@cfs-nl.ca