Some university and college professors warn that they may keep staying away from classes if students vote in favour of maintaining their stance in the Quebec student crisis.
Nearly 200 professors met on Monday at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and introduced a manifest signed by an estimated 2,000 teachers from colleges and universities to show their solidarity with student associations.
They oppose Bill 78, the law put in place by Jean Charest's Liberal government in an attempt to put an end to the ongoing crisis.
One professor called it "far too ferocious."
"We deem it unacceptable that Quebec professors be repressed by this law worthy of an Orwell novel," professor Paul Dumais said.
The academics said the bill forces establishments, professors and students to act against each other.
"[Bill 78] is a travesty to a teacher's job," said Diane Lamoureux, one of the teachers in attendance. "We are not machines nor are we dispensers of class notes or diplomas. It's not by forcing us to teach, in any condition, that the government will assure the quality of the teaching we are giving."
Most of the people who have signed the petition are from the province, though many are from overseas. Professor Stéphane Enjalran said many teachers in foreign countries are in solidarity with Quebec academics.
If teachers decide not to give classes in order to respect a strike vote, they could continue to receive their salary since Bill 78 makes no mention of the topic.
However, teachers could face fines if they don't show up for class.
The CEGEP federation of teachers urges professors to abide by the law "in any possible measure."