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March 18, 2013

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President pledges CUPE support for public education

VANCOUVER – CUPE BC president Barry O'Neill decried government attempts to privatize public education in a speech to 700 BC Teachers' Federation delegates today.

Speaking at the BCTF's annual general meeting in Vancouver, O'Neill said "nobody has the right to sell our education," adding that CUPE will fight any government attempts to take away public education. He added that he "has never seen such an attack on what teachers and what our CUPE members in schools do. It's odd that when mainstream media attacks teachers, they say it's not about students or education when really that's exactly what it is about."

O'Neill said "there's this mantra that people working in education and healthcare don't care about the jobs that they do. But they seem to forget that we are also the recipients of those same services, so it's like saying that we don't care about our own children's education."

To a standing ovation, O'Neill told delegates that "this fight to save public education in BC is critical and CUPE will always be there with you."

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