“Privatization of ABE is clearly a failed experiment that has had a profoundly negative impact on students." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
St. John's (16 May 2017) — Jerry Earle, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE),is calling on the provincial government to reinstate Adult Basic Education (ABE) at the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) on the heels of a social media post made by the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour.
Newfoundland and Labrador government admits decision to privatize wasn't based on "sound financial evidence."
On May 2, 2017 Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour, tweeted the following: “Results of extensive review of CNA operations show removing Adult Basic Education were not based on sound financial evidence.”
“When ABE was privatized in 2013, NAPE/NUPGE joined students in denouncing the move, saying that it would cost more and deliver less,” said Earle. “Ultimately, we were proven right."
Privatizing education program cost more, though fewer students enrolled
Government documents released through an Access to Information Request in 2016 showed that the cost of operating Adult Basic Education had risen significantly, while enrolment in the program plummeted since the program was privatized in 2013.
According to the released data, program costs increased by 31 per cent, while enrolment declined by 30 per cent. In some cases, tuition fees more than quadrupled since privatization.
“Now we have a situation where Minister Byrne is saying that the decision to privatize ABE was not based on sound financial evidence as revealed in the findings of the recently released CNA modernization review process,” said Earle. “Privatization of ABE is clearly a failed experiment that has had a profoundly negative impact on students who are simply trying to further their education to better themselves with the goal of improving their lot in life.”
“If the province is serious about improving educational outcomes and reducing student debt, it would immediately begin the process of reinstating the ABE program at our public college,” said Earle. “That would be a modernization plan we could get behind.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE