A first group of CÉGEP students has voted to carry on their six-month-old strike, but only if enough of their peers at other colleges and universities join them.

Students at CÉGEP St. Laurent opted on Saturday to continue their crusade against the provincial government's proposed tuition fee hikes, but by a tight margin: 261 voted in favour and 243 against, with 14 abstentions.

The decision is contingent on at least 20,000 other students voting to keep up their boycott of classes.

Student associations across the province are voting on whether to end the strike they began last February.

In the past week of balloting, some student associations at UQAM, the University of Montreal and the University of Sherbrooke have voted to continue the strike. But all three CEGEPs that voted last week — André-Laurendeau, Saint-Jérôme and Collège de Valleyfield —wanted to go back to class.   Six other CEGEPs affiliated with the student federation CLASSE are to vote in the coming days.