The federal government’s budget for 2023 has little to offer PSAC members who work in the post-secondary sector.
University sector workers, including post-doctoral researchers, who depend on research funding were disappointed yet again. There is no additional money provided for research funding through the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. These funding bodies are critical to ensuring quality graduate and post-graduate research in Canada. Due to inflation, the value of grant funds is significantly less, leaving Canada's research community struggling to meet rising demand.
Despite minor positive tax fairness and affordability measures, post-secondary workers will also not find meaningful relief for exorbitant housing or tuition costs, the soaring costs of day-to-day goods or support with higher transit fares that so many people rely on.
Grants have been on a roller-coaster ride. The 2019 budget raised the maximum yearly amount from $3,000 to $4,200, and then to $6,000 during the pandemic. Earlier this year, it was brought back to $3,000. In its 2023 budget, the government announced with pride an increase to $4,200, which only brings funding back to 2019 levels and doesn't account for recent record inflation.
PSAC will continue to pressure the federal government to support workers in the post-secondary sector.