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Access to post-secondary education must improve, says Georgetti

CLC press release, Ottawa, 31 January 2000

Canadian Labour Congress supports students' day of action

Access to education shouldn't be based on the thickness of your wallet," says CLC President Ken Georgetti in supporting the Access 2000 campaign and the February 2 day of action launched by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).

"Our political leaders keep repeating that the new economy demands more knowledge but they work to limit access to training and post-secondary education," says Georgetti . "They can only resolve this contradiction by reducing tuition fees, providing students with grants not increased debt and generally commit more support to training our workforce."

During the Student Day of Strike and Action the CFS is calling for a reduction in tuition fees, a national system of student grants and the restoration of social program funding.

"The federal government has no problem paying the banks millions in public funds to administer loans, but it can't see it's way clear to provide grants to students. Enough double-talk! Do we want an educational system meant only for the rich? Canadians can't accept that kind of backward thinking," adds Georgetti.

The CLC is calling on trade unionists and community activists to take part in the demonstrations and do whatever they can to support the students and their message. Since 1990, average tuition fees for undergraduate arts have increased by 126 per cent. During the same period the average debt level for a student graduating from a four-year program has more than tripled from $8,000 to $25,000.

The CFS is organizing a main rally in Toronto at Ryerson University. Across the country universities, colleges and high schools will also have rallies demonstrations, strikes and marches.

Details on events planned for the February 2nd National Student Day of Strike and Action are available by calling: 1-800-789-5870.

For more information...
Jean Wolff – CLC

Tel: 613-526-7431

Lois Ross – CLC

Tel: 613-526-7426