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(VANCOUVER) The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is urging the provincial government to continue the freeze on post-secondary tuition fees. The Liberals are currently conducting a review of the freeze.

“We believe that one of the worst things a government can do during such trying economic times is to make post-secondary education less accessible, says CUPE BC President Barry ONeill.

It may come as a surprise that the union representing nearly 10,000 post-secondary education workers in B.C. would feel so strongly about maintaining the tuition freeze. A fee increase would clearly add income to the institutions that pay CUPE members wages. However, CUPE members have voted at convention to support continuing the freeze on tuition rates.

We cannot escape the fact that an accessible and well-utilized post-secondary education system is vital to the long-term interest of our entire membership of 67,000, their families and all British Columbians, ONeill explains. On this basis, we urge the provincial government to maintain and extend the tuition freeze.

Experience across North America indicates that student access to post-secondary education decreases as tuition fees are increased.

We also urge the provincial government to vigorously pursue the federal government for British Columbias fair share of the funding required to meet the costs of increased enrollment, changing technology and inflation, ONeill concludes.

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Media, please contact Barry ONeill, CUPE BC President at 604-916-8444.