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STUC 2011



STUC opposes tuition fees

Graham Smith
Graham Smith
The STUC backed a Youth Conference call to oppose tuition fees, remove the burden of debt from graduates and support campaigns for a fairer funding system for higher education in England.

UNISON's Graham Smith told Congress, "I'm speaking on this motion because I'm a student but I'm also a UNISON member an a worker. I'm not speaking out of self interest but of concern for the future state of our higher education system.

"It's not for me but for my wee sister when she and her peers hopefully enter [higher education] in a few years time".

Graham said he was proud of the actions he had taken along with fellow students but stressed that they could not do it alone.

"I joined tens of thousands of students and school pupils on the streets of London to protest the removal of the EMA and the tripling of fees", said Graham and called on all trade unionists to back them up.

"I am asking you to stand beside us in oposing cuts not only to our courses but to support our lecturers and our staff", he added.

When university bosses were "trying to turn our public education system into private business - with salaries to match - we must fight back", said Graham.

"And you know what - we are!"

During the election campaign student activists fom across Scotland have formed a Scottish Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (SCAFC). The campaign has secured pledges from all parties - except the Tories - that they will stop any form of fees or graduate tax.

"Get your union to support SCAFC in our campaign for quality higher education", urged Graham, "Our fight is your fight - whether it's for your members, your waens, or for a few faces in here, grand waens".

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