Here is a helpful outline for doing teach-ins about tuition hikes.
Reposted from SSMU.
Student Strike FAQ
Considering the upcoming strike votes in a number of undergraduate student associations, the SSMU wishes to inform the McGill student body about student strikes on our campus. Here are answers to some questions you might have about a possible student strike and what it means for you.
Here is the McGill Budget and deficit explained and demystified:
Universities should be well funded, but that money should be well managed, and the budget should be presented in a clear, transparent fashion. Moreover, funding for universities does not need to come from student hikes, there are better solutions.
PGSS members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three-day strike to fight the proposed tuition hikes.
This means that all graduate students at McGill University will be on strike from March 20th-22nd.
What does that mean? What do we do?
Students should NOT attend class, or spend their day in the lab/ at home/ wherever doing work related to their McGill degrees.
The three day strike is not a vacation, or time for slacking off!
The three day strike is an opportunity for students from different departments to come together and talk about the tuition hikes, show our opposition to them, participate in creative actions and just be seen and heard. Stay tuned for a full schedule of engaging activities for the three days!!!
Join the Facebook Event.
Students SHOULD continue to fulfill their TA or Course Lecturer duties, being on strike with the PGSS does not mean AGSEM is on strike.
If you would like to get more involved in organizing the events, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who were lucky enough to score a position as a TA to help finance your graduate studies at McGill:
Did you know that the number of TA hours you will need to work to pay for tuition (not including ancillary fees) will go up from 93 hours in 2011/2012 to 144 hours* by 2016/17?
This is assuming that TA’s receive a 3% yearly increase in salary, which as we saw this bargaining year, is not something to take for granted.
This means that by the end of the proposed tuition hike, 58% of the money you earn from TAships will be used up by tuition, this is assuming that you are hired for two full TAships (180 hours each semester), which is also not to be taken for granted as TAship hours relative to graduate enrolment have been on a steady decrease and AGSEM’s last contract has not won any guarantees on that front.
*at current and projected pay rate for McGill TA’s accounting for deductions (the forward projection assumes current rates for EI, QPP and QPIP)
Students are striking to oppose the provincial government’s unnecessary tuition increases. Tuition is set to increase nearly 75% in the next five years, or $325 more every year starting in September 2012 and ending in 2017, which amounts to an added financial load of $1,625 per student per year.
Students are striking to resist the privatization of education. Along with the ever increasing role of private and corporate funding to the university, tuition increases are part of a larger trend to shift the responsibility of higher education from society (via the federal and provincial governments) to the private sector. The privatization of the university is a move towards the commodification of learning and constitutes an attack on a widely held view that education is a collective right and responsibility.
Students are striking to demand that university administrators end the improper use of our funding and our resources. McGill University is not underfunded. The real problem is how funds are spent: on real estate projects, on ambitious building expansions, on heightening McGill’s profile, and other spending that siphons money out the operating budget (responsible for teaching and learning).
Students are striking to reassert their right to McGill. Tuition increases are just one further measure to control who has access to McGill and who does not. The 2011- 2012 academic year has seen a series of attacks on legitimate student participation in University affairs. Increased securitization of campus, the lack of authentic student participation in decision making following the events of Nov. 10th, censoring undergraduate student groups’ use of “McGill,” and most recently invalidating student electoral practices, all send a strong message to students that our opinions and potential contributions to McGill are inconsequential to the administration.
Students are striking because general student strikes are effective. Throughout Quebec history general strikes have effectively forced the government into negotiations with student associations because the possibility of cancelling a semester is economically and logistically impossible. Alternative and symbolic actions by students such as petitions and demonstrations are ignored unless within the context of a general strike.
Students are striking for their siblings, their friends, their children, for all Québec students, today and tomorrow. Tuition fee increases make universities less accessible, especially for students from racialized communities and less affluent backgrounds.