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TORONTO — The McGuinty government’s tuition fee increases will tax working families and increase pressure on student workers, especially graduate students, says the union representing most university workers in Ontario.

Just weeks ago, Dalton McGuinty was standing in the legislature to proclaim his government as the most labour-friendly in years,” said CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. “With friends like that — who bring in tuition increases far greater than any income increases anyone has had — working families don’t need enemies.”

CUPE represents about 20,000 university workers, including students who work as teaching assistants, graders and lecturers.

Universities are going to be paying with one hand and taking away with the other,” said Janice Folk-Dawson, chair of the CUPE Ontario university workers coordinating committee. “We need a real plan for, and commitment to, improving post-secondary education, not just shifting funding from the public purse to private pocketbooks.”

Instead, she noted, the McGuinty government is looking at using its new-found $1 billion revenue windfall to build a subway line to a university that students from working families won’t be able to attend.

Instead of undoing the damage of chronic underfunding and restoring access to post-secondary education, this government is choosing to continue the damage,” Ryan said. “Over the past several weeks, the provincial Liberal government has been steamrolling its regressive policies over Ontarians. Everything from childcare to health care, pensions, and now tuition fees, is on the agenda.

The end result is that Ontario families are going to suffer.”

For more information, contact:

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

Janice Folk-Dawson, Chair, Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee, 519-766-8376 (C)

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