Dalhousie University and Dalhousie Faculty Association reach agreement; classes are on

Over the weekend, representatives of Dalhousie University and the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) reached a tentative agreement on a three-year collective agreement. The next step is for the Board of Governors and the DFA to ratify the tentative agreement. We are hopeful for a positive outcome.

The tentative agreement means classes will continue as scheduled on Monday.

The Government of Nova Scotia has granted permanent solvency relief to University Pension Plans. The Parties appreciate that this will result in welcome relief from onerous solvency payments. This privilege carries an added obligation on the Parties to act responsibly to explore opportunities to improve upon the Dalhousie University Staff Pension Plan and to that end we have signed a Letter of Understanding confirming our commitment.

Both negotiating teams worked hard to arrive at a new collective agreement and we are relieved students’ studies were not interrupted with a strike. We’re eager to get back to class on Monday morning and focus on student success.


  1. Angry says

    Bravo leaving it to the last minute (yes this is the last minute) I will leave dal soon not missing anything about it. I’m going to make sure I tell everyone I know about this.

  2. SweetandSour says

    This is great news for the students, but really isn’t a good thing for those expecting delays to get extra time on major projects.

  3. STUDENT says

    I hope that this means that the question of a strike is out of the window for good. We are students at DAL and we are suffering the most from this! How many times will we be told something different! I am glad that the parties involved have come to an agreement and I hope that this marks the end of the inconsistency in information that the students have experienced ever since this situation first arrived. I believe that when it comes to education, consistency is key. It is my hope that we, the students at DAL will be able to focus on our learning without having to constantly check this forum to ensure whether or not we will have class in the morning.


  4. Student says

    They should give the students a “relief” day for putting us through so much stress, right up to the day before….

  5. says

    Great news! Hopefully common sense will have won out. Kudos to the DFA team for their perseverance and patience in the face of a barrage of spin. Maybe next time the Administration will come to the table with a serious intent to bargain from the outset. It will be such a relief for everybody–especially our students. I look forward to getting back into the classroom…

  6. mk says

    congratulations on making your professors happy. Good luck turning that around to ever win back the student.

  7. angry x 2 says

    I agree with Angry,
    way to leave it to last minute, I’m going to have to re think my university choice next year i think.

  8. Not Impressed Student says

    Why is it tentative? I’m so frustrated with Dal. All of my professors rushed through 3 weeks of materials, condensed midterms and took away valuable review classes all because they thought this strike would occur. Now I barely have an understanding of what’s happened in my classes and I will not have done as well on my midterms because I didn’t have enough time or resources to properly study for them. I came to university to succeed, not to be set up for failure.

  9. Patrick says

    So it is a tentative agreement and it is being proposed to the union members. what if they reject the offer? this still doesnt REALLY say anything. Yes they came to an agreement but it still has to be presented and accepted to everyone. . .. .

  10. duchanne says

    Three year agreement, eh? Good luck to those of you in first year. I’d say get out now.

    The strike may have been averted, but the damage is still done.

  11. Science Student says

    So it only took two hours (assuming talks resumed at 1PM as stated on the DFA website) to come to this conclusion?

    I don’t know about anyone else, but that makes it sound like there wasn’t much left to talk about after talks ended last night. I’m having difficulty believing the administration couldn’t release the fact that they were that close to an agreement.

    Could have put a lot of people’s minds at ease if they’d said that they felt they were close last night.

  12. student says

    “The next step is for the Board of Governors and the DFA to ratify the tentative agreement. We are hopeful for a positive outcome.”

    does ^^ mean there is still potential for a strike?

  13. Jacob says

    Prof’s don’t really don’t understand students, they really should of tried for at least 2-3 days off. This has really set back a lot of students who went home for the weekend wasting 100′s of dollars and no have to come back after 2 days, and those hoping to catch up and finish assignments……. Really wish they would look into what the students really want, and not assume what is best for the student

  14. dks says

    A tentative agreements means that both sides at the negotiating table have agreed to terms. This is standard language. There still needs to be a vote but given that those entrusted to negotiate will recommend the ‘tentative’ agreement it is sure to pass.

  15. HS says

    A tentative agreement means that the DFA members and the Board have to ratify the agreement by voting. When the parties reach a tentative agreement, they will recommend to their respective members to accept the agreement by a Yes vote.

  16. Andrew says

    Guys: you really need to learn the basics of labour relations.

    EVERY agreement that union and employer reach is only tentative – because the union members (who are represented by the union negotiators) and the board of the employer (who is represented by the employer negotiators) have to ratify it. That’s how labour relations work – everywhere.

    Also, I find it amusing that some people are complaining that the agreement was left to the last minute. Do you really think that people delayed it on purpose? Of course not. But in negotiations concessions increase the bigger the strike threat becomes – that’s why most agreements are reached at the last minute. This is kinda logical when you think about what it means to negotiate.

    Finally: to those students who didn’t do what they were supposed to do all along and who are now complaining that they won’t get any extra time. Aren’t you guys embarrassed to say publicly that you slacked off instead of getting prepared?!

  17. Omar says

    Great..way to leave it to the last minute now my nerves are shattered trying to prepare for tomorrow’s midterm

  18. STUDENT says

    Way to go DAL, for yet again, in your infinite wisdom, for waiting until the last minute to accomplish something.

  19. aha agreement? says

    I agree with the “not impressed student”, we (the students) have been put in this nasty position of uncertainty for up to 3 weeks with strike, no strike, strike, strike, strike….and now tentative agreement? I may speculate that this did not benefit any student in any way and it hurt DAL’s reputation a lot! I will reconsider my school choice for a masters degree.

  20. Dal Student says

    Ridiculous… giving no useful information until a day out, a “tentative” agreement, with our support staff still threatening to strike.

    This will be my last semester at Dal. 2 years too much.

  21. Student says

    Why is there somebody here who is ‘heartbroken’ over now being able to get the term you paid a few thousand bucks for…

  22. Student says

    Good to know that Dal really cares about “student success”, as they obviously value the time and energy which students and faculty have already devoted to worrying about this strike for the last month, up and until the last 24 hours beforehand. Thanks for reaching a “timely” decision, guys. You know that we just love being sent up and down the rollercoaster until the very last possible moment.

  23. DalStud says

    For now, yes, it looks like the strike is out of the question.

    I am so sorry you will have to do work now, sucks doesn’t it?

    Let’s all get mad at the University for reaching an agreement that could potentially have saved the rest of the semester, or at least extensions into the summer.

    Sure it came in late, but if we are all as dedicated as we like to make ourselves sound with these comments should our work not have been done over the weekend anyway, because we knew a strike may not happen?

    Don’t get mad at someone else because you were all foolish enough to relax on something that has always been tentative.

  24. sar says

    On Monday only? tentative? so it is not definite? shall we expect another strike call? what kind of communication is this?

  25. Craig says

    Amazing. 3 hours ago you “kids” wanted no strike. Now, there is a tentative agreement, meaning likely classes continue tomorrow and you’re still not satisfied. Grow up! Kids.

  26. Jake says

    Your profs don’t have the power to simply delay tests by a couple of days. They have to stick to what they wrote in the course outline – no strike means no interruption means no extra days. It was never CERTAIN that a strike would occur, hence it was ALWAYS necessary to prepare in the same way as if there had been no strike threat.

  27. T.H. says

    After I just woke up from my little afternoon nap in the library and read the no-strike news, I found out that there are 50-60 more people around me now. Before my little nap, there were only 3 people scattered around the room from the morning to my little nap….wola…Dal students react fast to the stressful situation. Amazing…

  28. Student says

    I just realized I paid tuition fee for worrying w about whether or not I will have class.
    Time to think about transfer?

  29. Where's your apology says

    I think DFA and the administrator owe the students a big apology for putting us under so much stress over the last few weeks.

    I don’t really expect to receive and apology because I don’t think neither the DFA and the administrators have that sort of courage

    not impressed

  30. stud says

    Why some of us sound like they are mature, understand everything and try to educate others? All of us are just a tool which is used by both parties for their own benefits.

  31. Not Impressed Student says

    I love how this has become a way for students to belittle and chide each other. Clearly the looming threat has taken a toll on all students. As a student who keeps on top of my work and does enjoy school I am unimpressed by how the entire situation has been handled. Students were given little to no information on this site, which was created by publicists, and left in the dark. Either way a toll has been taken on our grades due to condensed midterms, compressed lecture materials or on the opposing hand the potential for no lectures and compressed exams. I understand that the DFA does have a right to improve working conditions and the University has a right to make money but honestly, at what cost?

  32. Anon says

    Well that’s swell. Have you figured anything out with the support staff yet? Why do all your updates have to be so open ended? If you read them all, every single one says the same thing: there won’t be a strike but there might be a strike. If you are getting paid to write this blog, I really question the oversight of your superiors. WTF. Are you getting some sort of perverse joy of confusing every student who reads this? Maybe we will have a general student strike. What now profs??!?!?!?

  33. Frustrated says

    Great. after the weeks of professors basically telling us that there would be a strike, and trying to “prepare” us for it, while actually just distracting us from our work, you reach an agreement less than 24 hours before monday morning classes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad in the long run that there won’t be a strike, and that the issues have been resolved, but I have been so distracted and demotivated by worrying about the strike that I am fairly unprepared for this coming week as far as schoolwork goes. I think some assignments and midterms should be postponed a class or two, just so everyone can get back on their feet. Any student who says that they werent distracted by the possibility of a strike is lying through their teeth.

  34. worried says

    Exactly Craig, the maturity that has been shown on here by most student comments puts me back in Jr. High. I am truly scared for them as they head out into the work force and into real life. They really have no idea what’s in store for them.

  35. Student says

    “We are hopeful for a positive outcome.”

    Will we have the results for this proposal today or tomorrow? Or next week? If this proposal has a negative outcome, am I just going to show up for class tomorrow only to be locked out. Is this just going to be another week of laying in wait?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that this is getting resolved, but I feel like a ‘tentative agreement’ is shaky ground to be stand on. We’re not out of the woods yet.

  36. A student says

    LOL at those who didn’t heed the advice of their profs to prepare as if there were no strike. Whoops!

  37. Trayan says

    As much as I think this is GREAT for current students, most programs are 4 – 5 years, not the 3 years that this contract is expected to be, meaning, in less than 2 and a half years, this same deal, with possible strike action, cancellations and time & effort wasted, we will be back here, AGAIN!
    A longer term deal would be a better deal for the students, who are most effected by this issue. Faculty and University need to have a more CONSTRUCTIVE agreement, where a long term deal is reached and not rushed through, with issues on BOTH sides being exposed later on.

  38. 4th year Student says

    I think some of you are being childish. We are in university and are studying for our futures. Classes are continuing on Monday which is in our best interest. Some of you who are thinking that this was some fun vacation where you could have “Strike fest” and put off studying for your exams,while others such as myself and others in my program who are in our final year of study have our career prospects and certification exams to worry about. Please keep in perspective that our main goal is to continue with our classes not to have a potential week long “strike fest”.

  39. DalStud says

    Leave it to students to find ways, no matter what, to feel entitled and owed something.

    As if the parties involved in negotiating were conspiring all along to leave this until the last minute. I urge everyone making comments that smack of entitlement to, as others have suggested, educate yourselves on how these processes work.

    Furthermore (and I say this as a full-time student) there is absolutely no reason why this should effect anybody in any negative way. If you were foolish enough to think that it was a sure thing the whatever stress you feel is self-induced and you have nobody but yourself to blame.

    These things are never sure, and that was clear all along. With that in mind, there is no reason why people should not have continued with work as per normal. Getting mad at the University for reaching an agreement with the DFA causing you all to have to catch up on the work you slacked from is incredibly foolish. The school owes you an education for what you paid, with all that has gone on they have ensured that you will continue to get that education in a timely manner and that the professors whose expertise we rely on for that education can continue to go on teaching.

    Give us all a break with demanding apologies because it stressed you out too much. And “Frustrated” I was not stressed nor affected by the strike, and I am not lying. I am having a relaxing Sunday afternoon doing exactly the work that was due for Monday as I have all along. I have seminar classes, language classes and literary classes–none of which have put anything else on me than normal nor has this process stressed me out a bit.

    Would I have liked a break? Of course, just as much as the next student, but did I put my eggs in one basket expecting it to happen? No.

  40. DalStud says

    “Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that this is getting resolved, but I feel like a ‘tentative agreement’ is shaky ground to be stand on. We’re not out of the woods yet.”

    You realize that “tentative” simply means that its not ratified, right?

    It’s not like they are sitting around still considering it–an agreement has been reached–they just need to go about ratifying (that means making it official) in the proper way.

    Until something is made legitimate and official, you can’t call it anything but tentative. Negotiations have ended, we’re not standing on shaky ground we’re standing waiting to pull documents and signatures together.

  41. Clark says

    “Frustrated”: I find it rather bizarre that you are reprimanding your profs for warning about you the consequences of a potential strike. Oh how much whining there would have been had your profs not done that and a strike had happened!

  42. says

    Last minute would be at 5am tomorrow with a tentative agreement. Those of you who mouth off about a strike need to educate yourselves and I do hope you never have to face the same thing as faculty and staff have been doing in your future workplace. Bet when you grow up and face reality, you may understand!

  43. LMN says

    I agree that some things happened to cause a major disruption in learning – I know one of my classes stuffed 3 weeks of lectures into one, and the review lecture for the midterm I had last week was withdrawn. I still successfully completed the assignment I was given that’s due Monday, I just had to do more self-learning than normal… But isn’t that what we should be doing at university anyway? I always thought Profs were more ‘guides” rather than “teachers” of the subject. We (students) have been told time and time again this whole time to study and prepare as in if there is no strike, that’s what I did, and I am ready for the coming week – thankfully my midterm was BEFORE the potential strike date, I suppose time will tell if the extra stress of these strike talks caused any trouble with my marks on that one…

  44. Kevin says

    Students were guaranteed the term would be completed, if anything you should have worked harder up to this point and be more prepared than ever for the rest of your term, if you didn’t do as well as you think you should have on your midterm, make it up your final because more review time will available at the end of term. Stop complaining on here and start studying. The thought of a strike should have not effect on your learning it is part of the growing process for the University so that they can better serve everyone that is a part of it. Yes students are the consumers, but if the university’s employees are happy there will be a transition into a positivist atmosphere. Take it as a blessing that the strike didn’t happen and be glad you get to learn in a class room with friends. Honestly reading this forum made me extremely disgusted in the student body; and yes I am a student.

  45. Jake says

    LMN wrote “We (students) have been told time and time again this whole time to study and prepare as in if there is no strike” If only all students were like that!

  46. Jeff says

    While it was frustrating that it went down to the last minute, this is the nature of most union/admin contract negotiations as far as I know (I could be wrong). And the bottom line is we were repeatedly told to be prepared for having classes as scheduled on Monday, including all assignments and tests etc.

    Overall I am just thankful that the issue was worked out (tentatively)and that I can continue to receive the education that I have invested my time and money in. I’m not sure that I completely understand the complaints of those saying they will now struggle to complete work on time given that they expected a strike. I think the only complaint that is legitimate is in cases where professors have rushed through materials to try and condense the semester in anticipation of a strike – here there is potentially some loss in the overall level of education received, and it is fair to have an issue with this given that the price you pay has not changed.

  47. Anonymau5 says

    If they started talks at 1 pm and this was up around 2:30 then what was left to discuss after last night?

    Better yet, what was left to discuss after they finally got into the same room and decided to actually talk to one another like grown ups (which wasn’t the case until very recently)

  48. Frustrated says

    “Clark”: I’m not really reprimanding them, though I guess it sounded like I was, Just every class I went to for like the last 2 weeks wasted 15-20 minutes talking about the strike, which was frustrating because it took up class time, as well as kind of made it seem like the strike was pretty definite. After so much time preparing us for the strike it just seems unfair that after all the distraction we find out that everything’s business as usual. If they had went on strike without much notice, to be honest, I wouldn’t have been too upset.

  49. Very Happy says

    I am a PhD student AND a sessional instructor teaching a class this semester. I have dealt with this strike issue from both sides of the prof/student coin, and let me just say that I am HAPPY on both fronts that the semester will be saved. Now I can finish teaching the material to my students as planned, and my PhD work will not be disrupted. C’mon everyone, only a month left in the semester, let’s make the most of it, whether you are a student or a prof. That’s what we’re here to do.

  50. Jenni says

    It’s hard to believe the students posting here who are 1) completely unaware of standard lebour negotations language (as pointed out in several posts, “tentative” is standard and accepted terminology for a recommendation for the agreement to be ratified, and 2) complaining about having to do work they should have been preparing to do all along. You sound spoiled, self-centred and selfish. You’ll learn soon enough that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your needs, and doesn’t owe you a living.

  51. says

    As a paying contributor to our daughter’s education at DAL, I am most relieved that the parties involved have worked tirelessly to avert strike action! Thank you for this… now, back to work everyone and make us feel proud and satisfied that our money is well spent!

  52. Harry Potter says

    People are saying we as students should be prepared because the strike was never a sure thing in the first place, and therefore we should have done the work anyway. However our Profs still started cramming material into us altering from their original syllabus because they thought the strike would happen. Some of us HAVE stayed prepared but profs giving us more material than normal makes it harder. And now that there is no strike we are expected to just keep going like nothing happend? Shouldn’t we be given some sort of time to cope or have some work adjusted? WE did not deviate from our course outlines OUR PROFS did, and they did it for nothing because there was no strike but we had our marks suffer due to it. Shouldnt there be something put in place to aid us after our profs pre maturely deviated from their course structure? We did not make that choice our Profs did however we are the ones that suffer from it . That is not right

  53. student1000 says

    do you think dal is the first university/business to go through this? omg so now people are complaining because they didn’t go on strike? shut up! how was this stressful? this was a joke. nothing happened, how has this changed anything? STOP COMPLAINING, GROW UP. This is life, the sooner you all realize this, the better you will be prepared for when you get into the real world. university is not, you have no idea how lucky you are.

  54. Jen says

    Congratulations to both sides in reaching a tentative agreement. The issues were complex and I’m sure it was mentally and physically draining on all.

  55. Rolling eyes says

    Some of you guys sound like spoiled brats. Oh boo hoo, I thought my classes tomorrow might be cancelled and now they aren’t, and now I’m not prepared because I catastrophized all weekend instead of studying. What do you think the long term effects of this will be on you, seriously? You thought there might be a strike and there wasn’t one, OMG scarred for life! Give me a break. If this is the worst thing you’ve ever faced, you’ve led pretty sheltered lives. The faculty and staff faced losing their pensions and being poor in their old age. I’m glad they got a settlement. Quit yer whining.

  56. Someone says

    I came home yesterday because all my profs were saying that it’s a sure thing. Now I find out it’s not happening and literally have no drive back to Halifax. So, I will be missing out on a week of classes ANYWAY. I figured, “It’s Saturday, and the strike is happening in less than 48 hours. I’m pretty safe to go home now.”

    But I guess not. My profs better be able to excuse me because this is extremely late notice. In none of my classes was I told “In case the strike doesn’t happen, don’t go home” or anything of the sort – they were all completely and unanimously sure it was going to happen, even on Friday. The only way this could have gotten any worse would be if I left this morning.

  57. questions, questions says

    Weird – NONE of my profs changed the course outline. They aren’t all from the same faculty either so they aren’t all under the same “orders” so to speak. Each one of them just said that we’ll stick to the syllabus and, in the event of a strike, we’ll figure out what to do later. Harry Potter, I think you were dealt a rotten hand if all your profs shoved extra material at you! However, if you covered extra material already, doesn’t that just mean that the rest of the semester will be easier by comparison??

  58. Jim says

    As a parent, I’m very pleased that there is a positive resolution in the negotiations. Time to move on to the next steps and positive conclusion to the school year. Good work !

  59. Alex says

    You’ve all been told in countless emails and notices that you should continue with your school work as best you can. This isn’t high school anymore, stop expecting to be spoon fed. Suck it up and take it like the adults you are.

  60. Dal Student says

    I think people should be able to negotiate, but that strike action should not be allowed for essential services. It is ridiculous how many unions are on strike in Halifax right now. Education is not only an essential service – it is a service students (and their families) pay for. In my opinion, the university would be breaking its contract with students – paying customers – if they allowed a strike to occur.

    I understand Dal employee’s concerns about their pensions. I think they should have the freedom to stand up for what they believe is right. This is why negotiations should always be allowed to happen. However, I will once again say that strike action should not be allowed. Strikes are bad for everyone involved. Over the past few weeks I have seen the possibility of this strike placing stress not only on students, but on Dal employees as well. The profs I have talked to enjoy teaching, care about their students, and did not want to have to go on strike to force a resolution to the pension issues. It is my understanding that many profs may have voted for a strike as a last resort…it is actually sad that it had to go this far and that, as many people have already said, things have been resolved at the last minute.

    However, on a positive note, I am glad that negotiations have gone well in the end, that a resolution has been (“tentatively”)reached, and that students and profs can get back to classes as usual on Monday.

  61. Thanks says

    I want to offer a heartfelt thanks to the students who have shown support for our faculty through these past very stressful weeks. I likely speak for all of your professors when I say that I’m sorry that you’ve had to endure these stresses; the contract negotiations never should have dragged out this long to affect you in this way.

    I’m sorry that students were caught in the middle of this labour dispute. But it’s true that you learn a lot about people in times of crisis. On the whole, I think our student body has shown great strength of character and I have perhaps never been as proud of our students as I have been these last few weeks.

    The issues being addressed in the contract negotiations are not necessarily easy ones to understand. But I’ve followed the message boards and been proud to see our students engage in intellectual debate and show facility in adopting different perspectives to arrive at an understanding and appreciation of the issues at hand. I’ve been moved by their strong support for their professors. And I’ve been impressed by our students’ work ethic and their initiative, independence, and strength of character in focusing on their studies and encouraging their classmates to do the same.

    I feel privileged to enjoy a career where I get to work with some of the brightest young minds of the next generation. You make us all proud.

  62. DalProf says

    For those profs who crammed in extra material while the strike was a ‘sure thing’: I assume you can now afford to give a review lecture or two?

  63. Voice of Reason says

    To those who are mad there wasn’t a strike:
    You know the due dates for your assignments. If you chose to take the chance and not finish your assignment on time banking on there being a strike; then that’s your fault. Do you also get mad when it doesn’t snow enough to cancel school?

    To those mad it’s the “last minute”. Negotiations take time. The government only granted Solvency Relief on Thursday afternoon. That is what saved us from a strike. Real negotiations couldn’t even begin until after that happened. These people spent their entire weekend of beautiful weather shut up at a negotiations table trying to work this out while you and I were off having our free time. They take of their own personal time to make sure this university stays open so you can go to class. Be thankful!

    To those who spent hundreds of dollars “going home”:
    If you chose to travel away for the weekend, then fill your boots. Don’t complain that you must return for your normal commitments on Monday morning.

    And if you’re still reading…
    To all those who have supported each other through this all: Thank you!
    Contract negotiations are very stressful for everyone; students especially. It’s all unknowns. No-one knows what an outcome will be even an hour before it happens. The students who have stuck together and came to each others aid. The profs who tried their best to alter classes to limit the impact on students in case a strike did happen; allowing for the chance to complete courses even if a disruption did occur. To staff members who fielded questions and worked to help everyone understand what was happening.
    For the most part everyone involved was very understanding and supportive. Thank you.

  64. Prof says

    Essential service? Clearly we think what we do here is important, but you need to think long and hard about what “essential service” means. Would lives be at risk? No. The Province of NS doesn’t consider transit or nursing “essential”. What is essential? Policing. Paramedics. Fire Dept.

    The selfish whining that’s been expressed on these blogs… you don’t want to be called “kids”? Stop acting so childish!

  65. Alum says

    It’s great that things are settled. However, you university students need to grow up and be aware of the real world. First you whine and complain that there might be a strike and now you are complaining because there isn’t going to be one. So you got a little more school work to do – it’s not the end of the world. Consider it some extra education. Be grateful that we live in a country that gives us the opportunity to fight for rights.

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