Students, faculty and staff have all been negatively impacted by budget cuts to our post-secondary institutions, but the impact also extends into the local Lethbridge economy. This Joint Town Hall brought together labour and student groups from Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge to discuss the impact of Alberta Budget 21 on students, staff, faculty and the wider community.
Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge create hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity each year for our city through well paying jobs, providing an affordable education for the citizens of Lethbridge and surrounding area, and attracting students from elsewhere, who then patronize our businesses.
Unfortunately, deep budget cuts year-after-year are eroding these two pillars of our community. The impact can be felt in reduced learning opportunities and less money in the local economy. With increased tuition, student spending power is reduced, or eliminated as students choose to study elsewhere. As staff and faculty face layoffs and salary rollbacks, their spending power in the local economy is reduced, which results in fewer dollars spent, hurting local businesses. Further, less investment in our institutions means fewer opportunities for tradespeople and other contractors in our community that benefit from these investments. The working and learning conditions at both institutions are inseparable. The scale of these recent cuts have led to collaboration between all student and labour groups on both campuses with an eye to how we can support our community by supporting our college and university. Join student, staff and faculty representatives from Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge and hear about the impacts of these cuts, and what is being done to preserve the high quality post-secondary education Lethbridge and Southern Alberta deserves.
This Town Hall was co-hosted by student and labour groups from both the college and university, and include: Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Local 053, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Local 071, Lethbridge College Faculty Association, Lethbridge College Students’ Association, Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group, University of Lethbridge Faculty Association, University of Lethbridge Graduate Association, University of Lethbridge Graduate Students’ Association, University of Lethbridge Students’ Union.