UMSU and UMFA: Post-Secondary Education is an Essential Service


UMSU and UMFA proudly stand in unison declaring post-secondary education an essential service.

We reject in the strongest terms the recent decision by the provincial government to consider up to a 30% cut to post-secondary funding in Manitoba, and jointly call for the federal government to resist overtures that will shift public sector salaries from Manitoba provincial payrolls to the federal government.

Instead, we call on the federal government to support post-secondary education directly through targeted funding to universities.

We call on the provincial government to follow the lead of other provinces to fund front line workers in the COVID-19 crisis and support other workers in the public sector. The Manitoba government should also follow the federal government’s example and provide students with assistance rather than eroding the quality and availability of post-secondary education.

Said UMSU President Jakob Sanderson, “This government, unlike the thousands of struggling Manitobans who are among those this government is elected to represent, will not starve. It will not go bankrupt. Instead of handwringing over the deficit it should be prioritizing investments in people.”

Added the president of UMFA and accounting professor Janet Morrill, “Government deficit spending – not tax cuts – can dramatically boost economic growth particularly during a recession/depression. In contrast, the impact of the current plan of public sector cuts is estimated to cost billions in the long run due to the drop in provincial GDP, tax revenue and labour income.”

Students and the citizens of Manitoba will need their post-secondary educational institutions to be prepared for them this fall more than ever. That education needs to be affordable, accessible, and of high quality.

For media inquiries please contact: 

Jakob Sanderson:

Janet Morrill:

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