With the cessation of the recent labour action by the University of Manitoba Faculty Association, it is an opportune time to reflect on why the strike occurred.
It is tempting to see this issue in classic Marxist terms, where the workers (faculty with salaries ranging from $75,000 to $140,000 per year) defend their rights against administrators who have been captured by a corporate agenda. Equally, one can view it as an administration holding the line, in the face of revenue constraint and enrolment increases, while confronted by a faculty that seeks undue control.
Some truth exists in both views, but not a lot. More profound are two disruptions that have fundamentally changed the nature of post-secondary education in Canada: technology and globalization.