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NIAGARA FALLS ON — The McGuinty government is forcing fights with CUPE on pensions and privatization, the union’s Ontario President Sid Ryan will tell more than 200 leaders and activists from the municipal sector who begin meeting here tonight (Wednesday).

Dalton McGuinty is kicking in the front door of public services and sneaking privatization in through the back,” Ryan says, pointing to government policies like Bill 100, which requires all new energy generation to be private — private funding for new hospitals, local health integration networks, commercialization of water services, and JobsNow pilot projects where Ontario Works employment services have been handed over to a private company.

Even Bill 206, the legislation that changed how the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) is governed and nearly provoked a province-wide strike, was designed to ensure that CUPE and other unions would not have the clout to stop investment of their pension monies in public-private partnerships (P3s).

Pensions remain a hot issue, he says, noting that today about 1.5 million British public sector workers are off the job to protest their government’s attempt to roll back early retirement provisions.

The CUPE Ontario municipal workers’ conference runs from 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 29 to Sunday, April 2, 2006, at the Sheraton on The Falls in Niagara Falls.


CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan


Opens CUPE Ontario municipal workers’ conference


7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Sheraton on The Falls, Niagara Falls


For more information, contact:

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

Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142 (cell)