Ontario students to "walk out" Tuesday - Macleans.ca

Ontario students to “walk out” Tuesday

College students plan to meet in protest of collective strike


chrul_walkoutAt noon Tuesday, Ontario college students have confirmed they will “walk out” of class, the day before Ontario Public Service Employees Union employees are set to vote on a strike mandate.

The “All-Ontario Walkout” is organized by Humber College student Graeme McNaughton, creator of the accompanying Facebook group “Ontario College Students Against A Strike.”

According to the event page, the plan is for participating students to walk out of their respective classrooms and meet at a designated location where copies of a petition protesting the potential strike will be available for them to sign.

These petitions will then be brought to bargaining parties, both the union and school administrations.

Twelve schools already have designated meeting places, some with locations at more than one of their campuses. So far 277 have confirmed their attendance via Facebook, which has more than doubled from last week’s “Attending” count of less than 100.

The strike would affect 500,000 students (350,000 full time students and 150,000 part time students) from 24 Ontario colleges.

The OPSEU represents roughly 9,000 full-time professors, counselors and librarians. Both faculty and student alliances have opposed a potential strike, arguing time away from school would have a negative impact on the quality of education.

The last time Ontario colleges went on strike was in 2006, where a 21-day strike at the tail-end of the second term left students scrambling to catch up on schoolwork in order to graduate, and maintain summer employment or other workplace opportunities. The OPSEU has argued that voting ‘yes’ to a strike mandate does not necessarily mean a strike, but would provide the leverage the union needs at the bargaining table to achieve the settlement they seek.

– photo by churl

For all of On Campus’s coverage of the looming strike please click here


Ontario students to “walk out” Tuesday

  1. An anti-strike strike… the hypocrisy is downright funny.

  2. leaving class to avoid being forced out of class. counterproductive at best.

  3. I don’t think these students understand how a “strike” works. People on strike, are damaging the people they are striking against in some way. Usually workers are not working causing their bosses to loose money. In this case, no parties are being harmed and so the action will have little if any effect.

    This is why public sector strikes should be outlawed and these student “strikes” are pointless and stupid.

  4. It’s symbolic, representing the frustration of the students. This has gotten them some press and a voice to be heard which is a lot more than just doing nothing can do.

  5. I agree with David. By simply stepping aside and allowing the term to be put on hold would be a mis-use of resources, especially when students are spending upwards of $12,000 dollars a year to attend college.

    A point should be stressed, if it has not been already that this is a terrible time to be considering striking. Many students and adults alike are depending on an education for their future. In the end, as it always has, it will have to come down to compromise.

  6. All they are doing is wasting a valuable day that could be used for learning. The little people rarely win.

  7. I will be staying in class. I paid money to be taught and I’m not going to drag my butt out of bed to drive there and walk out at 12.

  8. These students are taking a ‘stand’ on something they believe in…they are trying to have their side heard..and they will stand out in the cold and represent all students who are going to end up losing out as a result of a strike..even those that can’t be bothered getting out of bed..they should be applauded.
    The thing that I find most ironic is how the union keeps saying that ‘there is more to this [possible] strike than wages…it’s to ensure quality education for the students of the future…’ Well aren’t our 2010 students the ‘students of the future from the 2006 strike’?? Is this the sort of ‘quality education’ we should expect in Ontario?