Hundreds of staff and students hold mass walkouts at SFU and UBC

May 1 2023, 6:22 pm

Students and staff at SFU and UBC are participating in mass walkouts today.

Over 300 students and faculty at UBC are taking part, while SFU hasn’t provided the expected numbers.

The walkouts are part of a national effort called “support our science,” demanding a living wage for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

The SFU walkout begins at the Convocation Mall at 11 am, and there will be a variety of speakers.

“Federally funded graduate students have not had a raise in 20 years, despite 50% inflation during that time. In August 2022, about 100 Canadian researchers demonstrated at Parliament Hill, decrying the lack of funding increases in the last 20 years,” reads an email from a participating SFU department.

UBC’s walkout of graduate students, postdocs and supporters started at Lee Square on Monday morning, expected to last until the afternoon.

An email from a UBC Chemistry rep reads, “We are disappointed that the Government of Canada’s Budget 2023 does not include any new investments for the next generation of research and innovation leaders driving Canada’s economy. Budget 2023 will have drastic impacts on current graduate and postdoctoral scholars in Canada; scientists are leaving the country, and this will ultimately cost the country billions.”

The email from UBC adds that federal government increases in funding programs have not grown since 2003.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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