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LONDON, ON Sid Ryan, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario Division, and a keynote panel will tackle the Rae report and creeping privatization in postsecondary education at Strategy, Struggle & Solidarity, a conference of more than 100 union activists opening here tomorrow evening.

While we welcomed some of Bob Raes report, such as his recommendation to invest in crumbling infrastructure on our campuses, we are deeply concerned about his silence on the issue of privatization, Ryan said. Does silence mean consent?

Add the threat of privatization to his recommendation to lift the tuition freeze and you have the makings for significant labour unrest across Ontarios universities.

Ryan will open the Ontario university workers coordinating committee conference with a keynote address at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel, 300 King Street, London on Friday, February 18, 2005. He will be followed by a panel including:

  • Hugh McKenzie, economist and author of Funding Postsecondary Education in Ontario: Beyond the Path of Least Resistance and the Ontario alternative budget;
  • Jesse Greener, Ontario chair, Canadian Federation of Students;
  • Pat Case, equity officer, University of Guelph;
  • Teresa Healy, CUPE national researcher.

CUPE represents more than 20,000 academic and support workers at 16 Ontario universities. The conference runs until Sunday, February 20, 2005.


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)