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MUN faculty ask party leaders where they stand on postsecondary education

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2019

On the heels of the fifth provincial budget including a cut to Memorial University’s operating grant, and with a provincial election just weeks away, the MUN Faculty Association is calling on all political parties to prioritize higher education and present concrete commitments to high-quality, publicly funded postsecondary education.

“Memorial University has a special obligation to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The whole province loses when our government starves our only provincial university of badly needed resources, with young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians particularly hard hit,” said Robin Whitaker, MUNFA President. “Students, faculty, and staff are already studying and working in crumbling infrastructure, and the University’s ability to offer a comprehensive range of programs is under serious threat.”

Over the past 5 years, Memorial has struggled to absorb a reduction of nearly $39 million to its core funding from the provincial government. At the same time, the university has been unable to address almost half a billion dollars in deferred maintenance to buildings across its campuses in St. John’s, Corner Brook, and Happy-Valley Goose Bay. Memorial serves 18,500 students and employs more than 3,900 faculty and staff.

“All the parties say they represent a brighter future for Newfoundland and Labrador. If they mean it, whatever party is elected to form government on May 16 must prioritize postsecondary education,” said Whitaker.

MUNFA has submitted five questions [1] to all provincial party leaders to find out where they stand on investments in post-secondary education. Leaders have until May 7 to respond.

Results of the MUNFA Party Leader Questionnaire will be available on the MUNFA website, www.munfa.ca [2].

The MUN Faculty Association is the certified bargaining agent for 850 academic staff members at Memorial University.

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For more information, contact:
Travis Perry, Membership Engagement & Communications Coordinator
(709) 864-4090 | membership.munfa@mun.ca