There is no doubt that many NASA members are already feeling the impact of the callous layoffs during this pandemic. The provincial government's cuts to advanced education mark a deliberate attack on all post-secondary education institutions in Alberta, but the University of Alberta has been one of the hardest hit, with over 1,000 layoffs planned over a span of just 18 months. The fiscal year that just ended saw 400 jobs cut, and 600 more are to come in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
We, your Political Action & Member Education Committee, send our strongest messages of solidarity during this difficult time. We recognize the struggles that you are going through and want to assure you that we are with you, are paying attention, and are making plans to respond as best we can in these uniquely challenging times.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully kept us indoors, we believe that now is the time to increase our efforts to fight back. We urge NASA members to act now and in the future by collectively standing up against these cuts and reminding the university administration and the provincial government that our jobs and lives are not disposable. There are ways to still have your voice heard despite being at home:
Contact the provincial government. Even with the current health emergency, it's important that the government hears that Albertans value post-secondary education. Take five minutes to contact Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides, and Finance Minister Travis Toews. You can also find their contact information and some suggested talking points on the Speak up about Budget 2020's impact on the University of Alberta page.
Minister of Advanced Education
Premier Jason Kenney
Minister of Finance
Reach out to your MLA. Most NASA members in Edmonton don't have an MLA in the government caucus, but it's still important to contact your own MLA and let them know about your concerns and how the cuts to post-secondary impact you. It's easy to find your MLA and their contact information online.
Get active on social media. It's important to let the broader public know about the impacts of cuts to post-secondary. If you don't already, please follow NASA on Facebook and Twitter, share our posts with your networks, and post about your own concerns online. We're planing to soon begin a social media campaign highlighting the impact of these cuts, and we’ll need your support to get the word out.
Send us your ideas. We want to hear from you. What do you think we should be doing at this time? How do you envision NASA responding to these cuts? Let us know by emailing us your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our strength lies in numbers. If every NASA member wrote an email or made one call a week, our elected representatives would be hearing from more than 6,000 people directly voicing their concerns. We'll be sharing details about additional actions in the coming weeks, and we hope we can count on your participation.
Your NASA Political Action & Member Education Committee
(Prachi, Quinn, John, Nicole, Meara, Nathalie, and Tristan)