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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 14, 5 July 1976.

'Students. Get Stuffed.'

'Students. Get Stuffed.'

On June 11th representatives of NZUSA visited the Minister of Education to put forward representations for an immediate cost of living increase in the Standard Tertiary Bursary, as well as to press him for the removal of the boarding abatement, bursary assistance for Ph.D students, and removal of the most pressing anomolies in the present bursary 'regulations'.

On all points they received a negative response and the Minister was evasive about the possibility of a review much before mid 1977. In effect Gandar told students to get stuffed. At that same meeting he hinted that militant action (i.e. demonstrations etc) was not a convenient background for "calm discussions" on bursaries.

Whether or not Gandar wants to continue to have "calm discussions" is of little consequence in the face of the complete lack of progress on bursaries. Talking has achieved nothing so far - the time has come to forcefully tell him that we are not content to be trodden on and left to face rising prices with empty pockets, or to allow education spending cuts to further deplete an already rickety education system.

Some people have been asking why the ne need for a cost -of living increase when they are receiving more money this year than ever before. Remember that the figure was announced by Amos in the 1975 budget, but the actual figure had been set earlier in the year when negotiations first started on the STB.

In that time we have had several general wage orders and there have been two cost-of-living increases since December 1975 totalling 10.7%

In that time there have been large price increases in basic foodstuffs, electricity charges, postal charges, and transport charges. At a static income level students cannot hope to survive the continual price rises that occur. Remember that Muldoon and Co have frozen wages not prices.

With an increase in bursaries unlikely before 1978 that $24 (or less) is not going to keep you going long. The only solution is to institute a form of indexation to keep abreast of rising prices.

Other demands that must be raised are the removal of the boarding abatement which is an inequitous penalty based on the premise that regardless of your age (16 or 60) you should be living with your parents. There are other fatuous situations such as students whose parents have dies and they are deemed to be living in their university town despite the fact that their former guardians may live in Taupo. The anomolies are many - the action so far pitifully little.

There is also the case of the PhD students who do not qualify for any financial assistance This university and others has recognised the plight of this group and fully supports the placing of those not on post graduate scholarships on the Standard Tertiary Bursary. The UGC and the Government has not.

The Government response to these and other demands is illogically simple. Do nothing about the major points such as cost of living, increases, Ph.D. students, the removal of the abatement and others until there has been a total review of the whole bursary system (Wouldn't want to be seen making progress would we now?)

Let there be no mistake - the time to act is now Gandar and his depart mental hacks must be shown that we are not prepared to talk to a political brick wall.

The Education Committee has started preparations for protest action culminating in a march to Parliament on July 23rd. A start was made the last University Council meeting when a motion was moved by the student reps. passed without dissent fully supporting NZUSA in its representations to Government on the Standard Tertiary Bursary..". A plan of action has been out lined which will include speaking to our local M.P.s (Ken Comber and Hugh Templeton) later this week, the involvement of the Polytech and Teachers College students and other educations groups like NZEI. PPTA, a full discussion on campus, lectures and at forums, full coverage through the news media. It is essential that everyone fully acquaints themselves with the bursary situation. In the next issue will be a letter from John Blincoe, President of NZUSA, to all students setting out the facts.

The Education Committee is meeting again in the Board Room at 12 noon this Tuesday to review the situation and continue planning All people are welcome and encouraged to participate.

We are at a crucial stage in the struggle for a just and equitable bursary system that will enable any person to continue their education without tear of financial hardship. Show your support by taking part in the planning activities and most of all taking part in the protest march on Parliament on July 23.

Any persons wanting help or discuss bursaries should see: Gyles Beckford at Studass Office phone 845516 (home) or Lindy Cassidy at Studass Office.

Drawing of a child at a desk

There's Absolutely Nothing to Stop Me Walking Out through that Door and Just Never Coming Back