Might I lose my semester if we strike ?
Never a semester has been cancelled in any of the eight general student strikes in Quebec (1968, 1974, 1978, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1996 and 2005) – in other words when the strike was widespread. On every occasion, the government threatens a term cancellation to force students back into classrooms and minimize the impact of the strike. Yet this threat is actually the greatest strength of the student movement. For once, students have the high ground and the government is forced to react quickly and compromise. Teachers’ unions also cannot accept significant semester extensions for their members, because of collective agreements. So what is most likely to happen after a strike is a minor term extension or an arrangement on evaluations, negotiated with universities and teachers, rather than a cancellation of the semester. For example, in 2005, student unions made it clear to the government that if even one school lost its semester, students would return to the picket lines. Students who had been on strike for two months saw their semester extended by a maximum of three to four weeks, courses were condensed and evaluations renegotiated.
From Free Education Montreal, « Why should we strike », 2011.