Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 4, 1975
Bursaries — 'Too Little for too Long' so we're Marching
'Too Little for too Long' so we're Marching
Students will be marching today in at least five cities to protest at the Government's inaction on bursaries. A forum will be held at 12 noon today on the Hunter lawn if the weather is fine (or in the Union Hall if its wet), followed by a march on Parliament at 12.30.
Demonstrations will be held at the same time in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Dunedin. Canterbury students are holding a protest rally on the Ilam campus, while Lincoln students will be debating the subject of bursaries at their Annual General Meeting at lunch-time today.
Technical institute students and student teachers in each city will be joining in the demonstrations and other protests. Speakers from the major teachers's organisations are expected to address meetings and rallies in most cities.
In Wellington the marchers will endeavour to present Mr Amos with a matching set of pale pink face cloths, as decided by the SRC meeting on March 12. There will also be a rally outside Parliament with speakers from VUWSA, NZUSA, Stanz, the Wellington Polytechnic Students' Association, the Pharmacy Students' Association and teachers' organisations.
The aim of the demonstrations is to show the Labour Government that students have had enough of its failure to keep its 1972 election promise to provide students with adequate living allowances.
Last Wednesday the Minister of Education said in Dunedin that he hoped that an announcement regarding the Government's election promise of a cost of living bursary for students would be made in late May. Commenting on this statement, NZUSA Education Vice-President Sue Green said: "Mr Amos has expressed many hopes since taking office and students are still waiting for a positive result. They now feel forced to take militant action."
While some people have expressed reservations about the effectiveness of demonstrations, the results of two similar protests last year show that the Labour Government has been forced to react quickly when people have taken direct action against it.
Kindergarten student teachers saw their four year old pay claim quickly resolved last year after they had taken direct protest action around the country. Similarly the Government did not agree to dental nurses' claims for increased pay until the dental nurses had marched on Parliament.