April 11, 2012, 5:00 am

Why Students Are Allowed To Go On Strike?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous
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There is something brewing these days with our Belle Province.


The irritation has been growing for the past 6 weeks now and is now going sideways: big time.


I’m talking about this bunch of party goers students who are on strike because they don’t want to pay to get a high level of education. They don’t want to pay to get proper training in order to get a job and make a good living. They don’t want to pay tuition fees but will surely pay for a cell phone, nice clothes, a car and, obviously, the mandatory Thursday beer.


So they have been on strike for roughly 5-6 weeks. But I just don’t get it: why are you allowed to go on strike if you don’t even work?


Apparently, they call it democracy. The same democracy that is being voted by raised hands. The vote that is being organized by the association who wants the strike and the vote counting is being done by people who want the strike. Secret votes are forbidden. Honestly, does this sound like fake democracy or what?


I’ve been a student, and been forced to be on strike. While others were partying marching down the street to claim their “rights”, I was working and making money. I remember that I missed the 2 hour meeting where the vote was being held. I guess that it was mentioned among people who were planning to go on strike… oh well, things haven’t changed 10 years later!


Why are they on strike anyways?


Quebec students are currently on strike because they want to keep their tuition fees frozen. They are against the increase of $1675 in tuition costs (the increase is being done over 5 years). In 5 years, the cost of 1 year at university will be roughly $3,800 ($3,793 to be exact). They claim that the “average student” can’t pay that much and that it would reduce the accessibility to studies.


I was a bit curious about this reduced accessibility so I’ve decided to run a small budget, just for fun. Here’s what I’ve listed:


Rent: $350/month ($700 for a 4 ½ and a roommate)

Electricity/heating: $50/month (split with roommate)

Cable/internet/cell phone: $75/month (split with roommate)

Tuition fees: $316/month ($3793 divided by 12 months)

Clothing: $50/month (so you can at least buy yourself a nice shirt each month)

Food: $200/month (I’m pretty sure you can eat with $150/month for 1 person!)

Transportation cost: $80/month (bus/metro pass)

Others: $200/month just for fun


Total monthly budget: $1,321 or $15,852 per year.


So total cost of 3 years at university: $47,556


Consider that you can make $8/hr net of taxes (roughly) to work as a student. If you work 15 hours per week (which is far from being crazy) during 10 months and you work full time for 2 months (at the same rate), you will generate roughly $7,360 net per year. Therefore, the missing income is $8,492/year or $25,476. In this case, I consider someone who makes a very small income (I was making over $15/hour (gross) 10 years ago!), that receives no help from their parents and no grants. And on top of that, I allow this person $50/month to buy new clothes, $75/month to have internet, watch tv and chat with their friend via their cell phone. This sounds like a pretty good deal to me, isn’t?


What is $25K in your life if you can have a career and a good job?


Am I missing something here? Is there something that I don’t understand? You know what? Based on the premise that going to school is a right and this is why it must be free, I guess that eating and living somewhere is also a right and I’m definitely waiting to see the day where my groceries will be paid for by the government!


By the way, for those who ignore it, the government budget is paid with our taxes 😉


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From what I have heard the increase is being done over 5 years. I may be wrong.
I posted about this on Yakezie but decided to withhold my opinion. Because I was new on the block.

Thank you very much for sharing.

I was going to post this exact same opinion this week Mike. It is absolutely ridiculous. Not defendable in the least.

by: The Financial Blogger | April 12th, 2012 (5:05 am)

@My Canadian Finances,
you are right, the increase is over 5 years, that was a typo!

I’m happy to see that not all teachers support students :-). The majority of teachers presently support students in Qc…

by: Millionaire | April 14th, 2012 (8:39 am)

Yes you are missing something.

First of all, not all students want their tuition fees frozen. They want it FREE for god’s sake!

Second in Quebec we think that everything is free. We’re not used to paying for what we use.

I have mixed feelings on this issue. I am in favor of paying for what I use. But with the level of taxes we pay here, school should be included.

Yeah, that’s the funny thing: one association wants it frozen and the other wants it for free. They don’t even know what they want!

They are asking the Gov to spend their money differently (I agree with this part) but they don’t even budget their own money! Most of them go out, eat out, have nice shirts and drive a car. Why someone besides themselves need to pay for that ?

[…] 4. The Financial Blogger with Why Students Are Allowed To Go On Strike? […]

I don’t get students protesting?? We had something similar in the UK last year and it went really ugly really fast! Think Canuks when they didn’t win the Stanley Cup. I reckon students protesting should think outside the box, I did, I’m Aussie and left for the UK, still owe student loan but while I’m earning in the UK I don’t have to pay student loan! Win Win!