Nov 15, 2012

Anti-Privatization Conference Closes

RICHMOND— CUPE members from all over the province learned last week how they can educate their own communities about the pitfalls of privatization and the importance and advantages associated with keeping public services public at CUPE BC’s Anti-Privatization Conference.

“It has been proved time and time again that public services are more efficient and more cost effective,” says Zoe Magnus, the privatization coordinator for CUPE in BC. “We face privatization threats in every sector, but our members continue to fight hard to make sure that public services remain public. This conference aimed to gave members additional tools to continue this fight.”

The conference began Wednesday evening with opening remarks from CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill, CUPE National President Paul Moist and City of Toronto Councillor and keynote speaker Shelley Carroll.

Delegates attended a panel discussion Thursday morning which included presentations from SFU Professors Donald Gutstein and John Calvert as well as Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan. The panel discussion was followed by a presentation from O’Neill on the “Ten Percent Shift”.

Thursday and Friday delegates attended their choice of three workshops, topics of workshops offered included:

  • CETA

  • Shop Steward’s Guide to Privatization and Contracting Out

  • Education

  • Health

  • Water

  • Contracting Work Back In

The conference ended Friday evening with Cindy McQueen closing the conference and reminding delegates that “through political action and dedication we can succeed.”

COPE 491