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HAMILTON, ON — Protecting pension plans and public education will be high on the agenda as CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan opens a conference of more than 300 union activists from the school board sector tonight.

School board workers are among the thousands of CUPE members who belong to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) pension plan. The Liberal government recently legislated a change in governance of the plan — a change that will be reviewed under forthcoming legislation dubbed the “CUPE Bill” following widespread protest by the union.

The conference, which runs until Sunday at the Hamilton Convention Centre, will also include workshops on fighting privatization and contracting out in school boards, health and safety and bargaining benefits. Former Education Minister Gerrard Kennedy had been scheduled to speak tomorrow morning; however, following today’s Cabinet shuffle, a replacement has yet to be confirmed.


CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan


Opening annual school board workers conference with more than 300 union activists


7 p.m., Wednesday, April 5, 2006


Hamilton Convention Centre


For more information, contact:

Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)

Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-299-9739 ext 264; 416-616-6142 (cell)