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OTTAWA – “Teaching, assistants, sessional lecturers, librarians, maintenance workers, administrative support workers, research assistants, all of these university workers are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees - CUPE, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with the members of the Canadian Federation of Students and support them today on their day of action and solidarity for accessible post-secondary education,” said Paul Moist, CUPE national President.

There has been a dramatic increase of privatization at Canada’s universities. The most apparent is the growing reliance on individuals rather than the government to finance university operations. University tuition and other fees have been skyrocketing in recent years with students paying a far larger share of the costs of post-secondary education. In 1994 student tuition fees comprised 19.9% of university operating revenues, by 2004 this had ballooned to 30.3%. At the same time, government funding as a percentage of operating revenues had been steadily shrinking: In 1994, government revenues represented 74% of total university operating revenues, in by 2004 government funding had dipped to 57.2%.

CUPE opposes the privatization of education, “Campuses are looking more like an amalgam of corporate sponsorship rather than communities and public spaces. The university acting as a corporation means that the focus is on the needs of business, not the needs of communities. The whole business model means the university will put priority of profit over public and community service.

Together, as workers and students, as parents and taxpayers, we understand the importance of solidarity. Prime Minister Harper must step up to the plate and ear mark federal dollars to post secondary education,” concluded Moist.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Moist
CUPE National president
(613) 558-2873 (cell.)

Catherine Louli
CUPE communications officer
(613) 851-0547 (cell.)