Our students are the heart of CBU and we very much regret the stress that a potential labour disruption is causing you. Please know that CBU will continue to work diligently to avoid any disruption to your educational experience.
The Frequently Asked Questions below are intended to help you gain a better understanding of what a potential labour interruption could look like and how, and if, you will be affected.
We understand that you are concerned and have many questions about the immediate future and hope that you find the FAQ’s listed below helpful. If you cannot find an answer to your question please submit it using our Question Form. You may also sign up to receive updates to these frequently asked questions.
We will continue to update this page so please check back frequently.
1. How will CBU provide updates on the negotiation process to university students and staff?
This website will continue to be updated with any new developments. Important updates affecting students and staff will also be communicated to you directly in all-student emails from Interim President, Dale Keefe. Please pay close attention to all future communications from the University on this matter.
2. In the event of a possible strike at CBU, can I cross a picket line?
Yes. As a CBU student, you are not only permitted to cross a CBUFA picket line to enter the campus, you have a legal right to do so, just as non-striking employees and members of the public do. We are confident that any picketing will occur in a lawful, respectful and considerate manner. We understand that this may be uncomfortable for some students and we encourage you to act as you normally would towards the faculty. It is legal for those on strike to picket to provide information, but they must allow the normal movement of people and vehicles into CBU.
3. Are all CBU classes taught by CBUFA faculty?
No. Some of our instructors are covered under a separate collective agreement with NSGEU and would not be part of a CBUFA labour withdrawal. Should there be a work stoppage, more information will be provided to help students determine which classes are affected.
4. I am supposed to graduate in May. How will a possible strike affect me?
CBU takes its responsibility to students very seriously and will do everything possible to ensure that students are able to complete the classes in which they are enrolled. In the event of a strike this may involve special make-up classes or term extensions, but only as a last resort. No university in Canada has ever lost a term to a faculty strike. CBU Administration, in collaboration with the Senate (which includes student membership), will work diligently to identify options that will allow students to complete their term and for those graduating, to graduate on time should there be any interruption. The Enrolment Services and Registrar’s Offices in the Marvin Harvey Building will be open and offering the usual services to students including the processing of graduation applications.
5. Are academic dates for Winter Term going to be affected by a possible strike?
As of right now, the calendar is expected to proceed as scheduled. Should anything change, updates will be issued promptly.
6. Is it possible for students to lose their academic credits or year due to a possible strike?
CBU and CBUFA take their collective responsibility to students very seriously and will do everything possible to ensure that students are able to complete the classes in which they are enrolled. This may involve special make-up classes or term extensions, but only as a last resort. No university in Canada has ever lost a term to a faculty strike. CBU administration, in collaboration with the Senate (which includes student membership), will work diligently to identify options that will allow students to successfully complete their term.
7. Should I pay my tuition, residence, meal plan and other related fees?
There has been no strike or labour interruption called by CBUFA, so deadlines and fees should be prioritized as normal. All payments are processed in Enrolment Services. In the event of a labour interruption, dates and deadlines will be revisited and adjusted accordingly to best accommodate students.
8. How will a possible strike affect students living on-campus?
Students who live on-campus will be allowed to remain in the buildings should there be any labour interruption. It is CBU’s responsibility to ensure, to the best of our ability, that the University continues to operate normally. This includes ensuring the wellbeing of our students living on-campus.
- 9. I am not from Canada. Is this kind of situation common? Should I be concerned?
10. During a possible strike, is my coverage in CBU’s International Health Plan still in effect?
Yes, if you are enrolled in CBU’s Health Plan, coverage is valid during a strike.
11. If there is a labour interruption, how long is it expected to last?
CBU Administration sincerely regrets the disruption that a strike may have on students, employees, families and the broader community. We will do everything in our power to conclude negotiations as soon as possible and reach a resolution. We are committed to maintaining good relations with the entire university community, including those on legal strike engaging in legal picket activities.
12. Should I use a particular entrance to access the CBU campus if there is a labour interruption?
All CBU road entrances will be accessible as usual. But please note that in the event of a strike or labour interruption, there may be traffic delays and that the Cape Breton Regional Police Service has been notified of this potential situation.
13. Will classes at CBU continue as usual?
Students registered in Engineering Technology, Public Health, and Hospitality & Tourism Management will be able to attend many classes as some of their instructors are members of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU) and will still be required to work. These students are expected to attend those classes that are continuing and those classes will take place as scheduled. Students can also email NSGEU instructors for updates.
For students in other programs and in classes taught by CBUFA members, classes will be suspended until faculty, lab instructors, nurse practice educators, librarians and other specialist positions return to work.
CBU is currently compiling of list of affected courses. Please check back soon.
14. Are all courses offered by CBU taught by faculty in CBUFA?
No. Some of our instructors are covered under a separate collective agreement with NSGEU and would not be part of a CBUFA labour interruption. CBU is currently compiling of list of affected courses. Please check back soon.
15. How do I know if my class is affected by the strike?
CBU is currently compiling of list of affected courses. Please check back soon.
16. As a student, will I still have access to course materials through moodle?
Yes. CBU will not restrict access to student course materials. You will still be able to access moodle with your assigned login. However, if your professor is a CBUFA member they will not be able to update the site.
17. Where can students get academic advising during a potential labour interruption?
First-year students can still receive Academic Advising through the First Year Advising Centre in the Student Affairs department. To make an appointment with an Academic Adviser please call 902-563-1408 or make an appointment with an Academic Success Coach by calling 902-563-1815.
Additional academic advising for students will be provided through the Deans of each academic school. The contact details of Deans and Deans’ assistants are listed below:
School of Science and Technology
Dean – David McCorquodale, 902-563-1262
Assistant to the Dean – Joanne Hughes
School of Arts and Social Science
Dean – Arja Vainio-Mattila, 902-563-1354
Associate Dean of Student Affairs – Mary Keating, 902-563-1623
Assistant to the Dean – Lynn MacEachern
Shannon School of Business
Dean – George Karaphillis, 902 – 563-1467
Assistant to the Dean – Kelly Unsworth
Office of Research, Teaching & Graduate Studies
Dean – Tanya Brann-Barrett, 902 -563-1185
Assistant to the Dean – Brenda LeLoup
School of Professional Studies
Dean – Carolin Kreber, 902 – 563-1672
Assistant to the Dean – Brenda LeLoup
18, Am I required to keep up with my reading and complete assignments during a possible strike?
It is recommended that you continue to keep up with readings and complete work that has already been assigned. Depending on the length of the possible work stoppage, revised timelines to complete course requirements will be agreed upon and shared with students if it becomes necessary.
19. Will Reading Week be affected?
Reading Week will be assessed based on the length of the possible labour interruption. Every effort will be made to maintain the existing schedule.
20. Should I withdraw from courses?
Students are encouraged to remain registered in their courses until any revision of the academic calendar is posted. Please be advised that financial policies and add/drop dates remain in place until further notice. We do respect that the decision to withdraw from courses remains with the student, however we remain hopeful that we can reach a resolve.
21. Will I still be able to drop courses after the usual deadlines?
In the event of a labour disruption deadlines will be revisited and updated accordingly.
22. What happens with my online course?
If an online course if offered by a CBUFA member, then that course will also be paused. CBU is compiling a list of affected courses. Please check back soon.
23. I’m taking CBU’s new open online courses for credit, certificate or curiosity. What happens with my class if there’s a potential labour disruption?
These courses are offered by CBUFA members, so unfortunately if there is a labour interruption, they will need to be paused. In the event of a labour interruption, you will receive official communication through the email address that you’ve provided for the course.
24. Does a suspension of classes include course labs?
Yes. If your class is suspended, your lab for that class is also suspended.
25. What happens if I pay my fees and the academic term is lost?
No term has ever been lost at a Canadian university due to a work stoppage. Deadlines for financial rebates will be revisited, depending on the length of the potential work stoppage.
26. With the possibility that CBUFA may opt for strike action on January 23rd, have any adjustments been made to course add/drop and/or payment dates?26.
In light of the announcement from CBUFA, and in an effort to accommodate our students, please be advised of the following date changes:
- Students will now have until January 27, 2017, to drop a course without academic or financial penalty
- The payment deadline for winter term fees has been adjusted from January 13, 2017 to January 27, 2017.
- The date that you are eligible for a 75% refund has been adjusted from January 27, 2017 to February 10, 2017.
- There will be no change in the ability to ADD a course. January 13 is the last day to add courses.
27. I live in a residence. If I choose to go home for a period of time while a strike is on, can I get a refund for the time I am away?
At this time students are encouraged to remain on campus as the situation is evolving. On-campus housing services will continue as usual including food services. It is CBU’s responsibility to ensure, to the best of our ability, that the University continues to operate. Any financial decisions will be revisited depending on the length of the potential work stoppage.
28. How will my student loan or scholarship be affected?
A possible strike will not affect students’ eligibility for university or government financial aid. Where necessary, the University will assist students in dealing with appropriate agencies or government departments. CBU scholarships and bursaries will remain in place as long as the student continues to meet the prescribed course requirements of the award. If students have questions, they should contact Enrolment Services at 902-563-1330.
29. What happens to my student loan money during a possible strike?
Student loans are still being processed as normal. As long as students are registered in the appropriate number of courses, the student loan funds are being disbursed to pay for your tuition, other mandatory fees, residence and meal plans. Any balance remaining, after all fees are paid, is deposited to the bank account the student provided to National Student Loan Service Centre. If students have questions, they should contact Enrolment Services at 902-563-1330.
30. Will internships and work placement continue during a possible strike?
Internships and work placements in the community (regardless of location) should continue. If you have any questions please contact the CBU Career Services Coordinators Jennifer Currie and Carly Turnbull.
If you are an international student who is currently working up to 20 hrs per week in the community, during a labour interruption at CBU, you cannot increase the number of hours past twenty hours.
31. How will my work-study bursary position be affected?
You should check with your supervisor to determine if your job will be affected by the strike. If you are being supervised by a member of CBUFA, CBU will work with them to determine if you are able to continue in your current job. We want to ensure, where possible, that our students are able to continue to work and receive their pay. This could result in you being reassigned to do other work on a temporary basis. We must ensure that continuing to work will not put your health or safety at risk so, for example, we will not permit students to work unsupervised in a lab setting.
32. Will I still be able to order transcripts and enrolment letters?
Yes, the Registrar’s Office will remain open and continue to offer all of its regular services.
33. How will I find out when classes begin again?
A notice will be sent directly to all students by email, so in the event of a labour disruption we encourage you to continue watching your CBU email closely. Information will also be placed on the front page of cbu.ca and be distributed via CBU’s official social media channels. Local media outlets will be made aware for broadcast purposes.
34. Will Cape Breton University campus facilities be open, including: the Canada Games Complex, the Sullivan Fieldhouse, the CBU Day Care, the Cafeteria, the Bookstore, the Boardmore Playhouse, the Library, the Art Gallery, and other regular services?
Yes, the University remains open and available to all students, staff and the broader community. Respecting CBUFA’s right to commence a legal work stoppage, it is CBU’s responsibility to ensure, to the best of our ability, that the University continues to operate.
35. Will Personal Counselling Services be offered if there is a labour interruption?
To ensure a balance between students still attending classes or living on-campus and those who are uncomfortable with crossing a picket line to continue counselling services, there will be fair accommodation to ensure service for all with the following schedule:
CBU hours of service:
Monday, Tuesday AM, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Monday evenings unless requested by student to meet off-site
Off-campus hours of service:
Tuesday PM, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (if requested by student)
Students with pre-scheduled appointments should discuss with their counsellor any adjustments needed to their schedule. Students seeking counselling services should contact Angela MacKinnon at 902-563-1639 (email@example.com) or Helen Boone at 902-563-1873 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As well, anyone experiencing difficulty can access advice 24 hours a day, 7 days per week through the Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-429-8167.
36. Librarians are members of CBUFA. Will this affect library services?
The CBU Library will remain open with no change in hours of operation. Though some services may be affected, the library staff at hand will be happy to help answer any basic reference questions to allow students to continue completing their assignments and keeping up with their readings.
37. Will food service still be available on campus?
Yes, food service will continue to operate.
38. How will a possible strike affect students living on campus?
On-campus housing services will continue as usual including food services. It is CBU’s responsibility to ensure, to the best of our ability, that the University continues to operate. Any financial decisions will be revisited depending on the length of the potential work stoppage.
39. Will Transit Cape Breton bus service continue?
Yes, bus services will continue to run as scheduled.
40. Will the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex (the ‘Dome’) remain open?
Yes, the CBHRC will remain open and will not be affected by a CBUFA strike.
41. Will the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Marconi Campus be accessible?
Yes, the NSCC Marconi Campus will remain open and will not be affected by a CBUFA strike.
42. Will community events or extracurricular events sponsored by the university still be happening?
Yes, to every extent possible. Any changes will be posted on the CBU web site and shared on CBU’s main social media channels. Local media may also be notified for broadcast purposes.