Toronto—Tomorrow, university workers from across the province begin a three day conference in Windsor, focused on devising an attack plan to counter chronic government under-funding of post-secondary education, that includes increasing activism on our university campuses.
“The time is ripe for young people, along with university faculty and staff, who are dedicated to keeping our quality public universities viable and producing our future leaders, to tell the government that they will fight detrimental policies as a forceful coalition,” says Sid Ryan, Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union that represents 15,000 university workers across the province.
Ryan and Canadian Federation of Students chair Joel Duff are keynote speakers at the CUPE Ontario University Workers Conference beginning on Friday March 1 at 7 p.m. at the Windsor Hilton.
Both Ryan and Duff will encourage the delegates to mount increasing opposition to government policies that include private universities, inadequate funding and escalating tuition fees.
Ontario, under the Tories, is now the province that provides the least per capita funding for universities. Since 1990, the Tories have reduced operating expenses to universities by $539 million (25 per cent) and the funding cuts have resulted in thousands losing their jobs.
“Starving public post-secondary education is part of the government agenda to privatize our colleges and universities. What else is the Tories’ SuperBuild fund, but an encouragement to the corporate sector to help this government privatize our now public post-secondary education system?” asks Ryan.
On Saturday morning, conference delegates will develop strategies on how to work in partnership with students, faculty, parents, other unions and university administrations to foster powerful campus coalitions to mount an attack on current government policies.
For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications