Our student association has voted for a strike. Now what?

From Le Hub/The Climate Justice Organizing HUB
Jump to navigation Jump to search

After a vote during which a strike has been voted, a common practice of student associations is to inform the student community by email as well as the strategy adopted.

Prior to this, it is common to meet with management to sign a strike protocol or to see their intentions in the event of a strike mandate.

Send an email following a strike mandate

It should include your strategy for enforcing the mandate, student rights and recourse in the event of a problem.

Your strategy

Are you going to picket? Teach the lessons by yourselves?


Right to picket

The right to picketing is mainly legislated in the context of labor law.

  • Here is a resource on this right in so-called Canada.
Picketing during student strikes

“The right to strike students is neither authorized nor denied by the courts. This did not prevent the student strikes from taking place, but always in a balance of power between the admins and the associations. React admins generally refuse to recognize the legitimacy of strikes."

  • Many institutions choose to lift classes when picketing is observed, either because it is their policy or as asecurity measure.
  • Some institutions, such as Collège Ahuntsic and Cégep de Sherbrooke wait for a picket line to be observed in order to lift classes. It can be decided not to make a picket line and waive the courses on your own by informing the administration.

Waive classes

See our wiki page 'How should we respond to an administration that does not want to respect a student strike?' for more on waiving classes. 

Here is an example strategy.

End of classes (without picketing) and mobilization activities.

“In its general meeting of [DATE], the members of the [STUDENT ASSOCIATION] voted for [NUMBER] days of strike for [CAUSE] on [DATE(S)'...]'[We invite you] to participate in the fundraising  , mobilization activities and demonstrations that will take place during these days!”

The rights of students

Inform students of their rights so that they feel more confident about holding the strike. The rights of students will depend on the details of the strike mandate (voted content). Remember to specify the strike situation concerning these subjects:

  • Internships
  • Exams
  • Assessment Agreements
  • Access to the library, computer rooms and other specialized rooms
  • Access to classrooms
  • The course
  • Online courses
  • Discounts
  • Access to the campus
  • The resumption of strike days
  • The school calendar

Here is an example.

“These strike days affect all courses and academic activities ordered by the faculty, at all levels of study, including internships and  preparatory courses  for internships. All classes will be lifted ( morning, afternoon and evening time slots), no subject or exam will be given and there will be no compulsory submission of work during these days. We invite you to reopen your evaluation agreement when you return from the strike week if you have exams or postponements during this period. In addition, we invite all internship students not to show up at their internship location."

If it turns out that the evaluation agreement is to be reviewed after the strike days have taken place, be aware that the teacher or the course group can request the reopening of the evaluation agreement provided that this was announced in the previous lesson . The new evaluation agreement can be negotiated and must be adopted by a majority of ⅔  of the students."

Informing the student community about its rights allows it to better react to certain people who seek to create a climate of fear of strikes.

Solutions in the event of a problem

Student associations deal with complaints management, so it can be strategic to invite people who waive classes to contact the person responsible for academic affairs in the event of a problem with a member of staff.

Here is an example.

"If you are experiencing an unfair situation or a problem with your professor/lecturer/  supervisor , we invite you to write a detailed email to the following address: [...]The executive will be able to support you in the steps to correct the situation."

If you have any suggested revisions or additional resources to share related to the above content, please email them to kenzie@lehub.ca.

Creative commons.png
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Back to Homepage