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McGill groups unite to denounce cuts to universities

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Joint statement calls on Quebec government to reverse decision
Published: 21 Feb 2013

Associations representing McGill faculty members, students, support staff and the administration have signed a joint statement denouncing the cuts to universities recently announced by the Quebec government. The statement, an initiative led by the McGill Association of University Teachers (MAUT), calls on the government to reverse its decision to cut funding to universities by $124 M this fiscal year and by the same amount next year.

"We call on the government of Quebec to reverse these dangerous cuts and we appeal to Quebec society as a whole to join together to protect and sustain the universities as a key resource for the future health and prosperity of our society," reads the statement (the full statement can be found below).

The statement reiterates the "enormous benefit" of universities to society, highlighting that the "knowledge of the human and natural world" that they have developed over the centuries "have been critical in achieving material and social advances." The signatories call the cuts "sudden, severe, and dangerous", as well as "a real threat to the health of our university system and the future well-being of Quebec society."

The statement was signed by the McGill Association of University Teachers (MAUT), the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU), the Post-Graduate Students' Society (PGSS), the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA), the McGill University Non-Academic Staff Association (MUNASA), the Service Employees International Union (SEU) and Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum.

STATEMENT
A university is a living community of students, professors, librarians, support staff, and administrators whose collective work drives the research and teaching activities that develop new knowledge and deploy existing knowledge. Knowledge of the human and natural world has been critical in achieving material and social advances over the centuries. The contributions of universities have been and will continue to be of enormous benefit to society. On December 6, 2012 and February 8, 2013, the government of Quebec unexpectedly announced budget cuts to its university system of $124 M within the current (2012-13) fiscal year, and a similar cut to follow in the 2013-14 year. These cuts are sudden, severe, and dangerous. They are a real threat to the health of our university system and the future well-being of Quebec society.

We call on the government of Quebec to reverse these dangerous cuts and we appeal to Quebec society as a whole to join together to protect and sustain the universities as a key resource for the future health and prosperity of our society.

Alvin Shrier, President, McGill Association of University Teachers


Josh Redel, President, Students' Society of McGill University


Jonathan Mooney, Secretary-General, Post-Graduate Students' Society


Ron Critchley, President, McGill University Non-Academic Staff Association


Kevin Whittaker, President, McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association


Robert Huot, President, Trades union, Service Employees International Union


Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University



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