Canada

Dalhousie students face tough workload after strike

Dalhousie strike over, now the hard work begins for students

Students at the largest university in the Maritimes headed with trepidation to school on Monday as classes resumed after a month-long faculty strike.

Some, such as first-year student Andrea Noseworthy, kept working through the strike.

"I did work not like a lot of people," she said. "We did have a lot of assignments due."

Not all the university's 14,500 students were so diligent keeping up their studies after 760 professors, librarians and other staff walked out on March 4. Many spent Easter weekend in the library surrounded by textbooks.

The faculty members voted 92 per cent to accept a deal reached last week. A provincial mediator had been called in to restart the talks after the strike turned three weeks old.

The professors get a 2.8 per cent raise each year during the three-year agreement on top of a base salary increase of $1,000. The university promised not to cut any full-time positions, but reserved the right not to fill any current staff vacancies.

The school year has been extended to April 25, and the exam schedule will be condensed into three days. Classes were originally set to end on April 9.

That means students and teachers have four weeks of lessons and assignments to get through in less than three weeks of class time.

"It's just a lot of work crammed into a little time frame," said Noseworthy.

Students will be allowed to vote on the timing of assignments and tests, and can withdraw from any class without academic penalty until April 19.

The strike was one of the longest in Dalhousie's history. The school has had four strikes in the past 15 years.