Summary of the 2017 Ontario College Strike

By: Aedan O’Connor

On October 16, 2017 faculty at 24 public colleges in Ontario went on strike. This affected half a million students. The faculty claimed to regret the effect this has on students, but their actions speak otherwise. The college student unions and radical leftists sided with the union, but most students were deeply upset by the strike and just wanted to return to class.

Faculty salaries already started at over $60,000 a year, and most make significantly more. Part-time and contract faculty start at $48 an hour and again, most make significantly more than this. If the strikers had got their demands met for more full time professor positions, it would have forced the education sector to lay off part-time workers to pay for it. They also demanded salary increases. This would have cost an extra $250 million a year, taken from the pockets of broke 18-year-old college students and taxpayers. The union was reticent to negotiate their demands.

The Ontario legislature enacted a back to work bill that passed on November 19 and students resumed classes on Tuesday November 21. As students had missed the a large part of the semester there was the option to withdraw and have fees refunded. For those students who did not have that option for whatever reason this was deeply stressful. I was pleasantly surprised to see this legislation as Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Party majority tends to lean quite left, and had assumed that she would side with the union.

The private sector rarely pays as well as the public sector, and they are less likely to be unionized. Unions are necessary for physically dangerous jobs, such as mining, but I believe that they are superfluous for cushy jobs such as the public education sector.  If a private sector industry chooses to unionize it does not directly affect the rest of the population and they could suffer financial consequences. Unions hinder productivity by incentivizing laziness when seniority is prioritized over merit. That being said, a private company has the right to do what they wish but they will be punished financially by the hindrance in productivity. Governments insulate their employees from the reality of the free market.

The students suffer at the hands of this cushy bureaucracy as the quality of their education goes down. Taxpayers should not have to pay an inordinate amount to a bunch of left wing bureaucrats in comfortable positions to increase their fat budget without accountability.


Aedan Sara O’Connor is the founder and CEO of Dame Right. While she is an American patriot, she was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. An avid political junkie and nerd, she created Dame Right when she saw a void to be filled in feminine conservative media. Her previous work has been featured in Daily Wire, The National Post, Rebel Media, Toronto Sun and Jerusalem Post.

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