Academic bargaining update
Posted Sunday, Oct. 15
College professors, librarians and counsellors across the province are on strike as of Monday, Oct. 16.
There will be no classes for full-time programs until the strike is over.
Seneca will remain open during the strike and there will be access to our Computing Commons, libraries and some computer labs. Career Services, Learning Centres, Athletics and Recreation and other student services will remain open but some services may be reduced. Counsellors and learning strategists will not be available as they are academic employees.
We will make every effort to ensure our Part-time Studies evening and weekend programs proceed without interruption. If there are any changes students will be contacted directly.
Please be assured that no Ontario college student has ever lost a year because of a strike. You will have the opportunity to complete your studies.
The latest information concerning the strike by academic employees at all of Ontario’s colleges will be posted here and updated as details become available. The academic employee bargaining unit consists of full-time faculty, librarians and counsellors, as well as partial-load faculty (those who teach more than six, and up to, and including 12 hours per week on a regular basis).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a strike, and will Seneca be the only college affected by the strike?
A strike happens when employees and employers do not agree on working conditions, such as pay, benefits, number of full time jobs, etc. During a strike, employees leave the workplace and form picket lines in front of the workplace. All 24 colleges in Ontario are affected by the strike.
Our academic employees are represented by a union, which is an organization of employees joined to represent their common interests.
Will all campuses be affected by the strike? How long will it last?
There are no classes for full-time programs at any Seneca campus. Picket lines are established at most of our major campuses. At this time is not possible to say how long a strike would last. We will provide as much notice to students as possible prior to classes resuming.
Can I apply to Seneca for full-time and part-time programs during the strike?
The application process will not be affected by the strike.
Canadian students applying to full-time Seneca programs will continue to use the Ontario Colleges website.
International applicants should use Seneca’s International Web Application.
Please visit the Part-time Studies website to register for part-time programs.
Admissions information is available on the Office of the Registrar website.
Will there be picket lines at my campus?
Legal picket lines will likely be set up at the entrances to most campuses. Students have the legal right to be on Seneca property during a strike, and employees who do not belong to the striking union are expected to be at work. More information is available on our picket line information page.
If you are not allowed through the picket line, or if you feel threatened, do not attempt to force your way in. Do not become involved in any arguments or any type of altercation. Leave the area, get to a safe location and:
- phone the Strike Information Line at 416.491.5050 ext. 77797 and report the difficulty.
- write down any relevant information regarding the activity.
- wait for further instruction from the Strike Information Line on how to get to the site.
What happens to my year if there is a strike?
We will ensure that students will have the opportunity to complete their year of studies. We can't say at this time what that will involve, as it is still early in the semester, and it would greatly depend on the length of the strike.
No Ontario college student has ever lost a year because of a strike.
Will work-integrated learning and field placements be affected?
In most cases, work-integrated learning terms and field placements will continue as planned.
How will a strike affect international students?
Please be assured that no college student has ever lost a year because of a strike.
You can come to the International Student Services Office or the ELI Lab to sign up for specially designed activities and services. You don’t have to participate in these activities, but they will give you a chance to be with your friends, to practice your English and to have fun.
A strike will not affect your medical insurance as long as you remain enrolled as a Seneca student.
Please visit your nearest International Student Services office for answers to any of your questions. Office locations
My study permit will expire this month. How do I extend my study permit if there is a strike?
According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, “When international students are unable to fulfill their conditions as temporary residents due to circumstances entirely beyond their control (e.g., a school strike), they should not face any sanctions by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency.
For example, if international students are due to apply for a study permit extension during labour unrest, they should include with their application an explanation (from the registrar of the educational institution) of why they have been unable to continue with their studies or attend school. International students must, however, maintain valid temporary residence at all times and should maintain their status as a student during this period by renewing their study permit before it expires or becomes invalid. Once the labour unrest has been resolved, they will be able to resume their studies, provided that they continue to have valid temporary residence and a valid study permit.” For more information, please visit IRCC website.
How will this affect English Language Institute students?
You will not fail your level or your term because of lost time due to a strike. In the past, there has never been a time where students have lost their level/term because of a strike. The term may be extended or timetables may be changed to help students once the strike is over.
If you decided to go to your home country during the strike, we will follow the same process for a leave of absence as we do every session. Come to the ELI office if you have a question or call 416-491-5050, ext. 22780.
What happens to my OSAP funding if the strike goes on for an extended period of time?
In the event of a lengthy strike, please contact the Financial Aid department to inquire about what funding options are available.
What about services on campus?
Seneca will remain open during the strike. There will be no classes for full-time programs, but there will be access to our Computing Commons, libraries and some computer labs. Career Services, Learning Centres, Athletics and Recreation and other student services will remain open but some services may be reduced. Counsellors and learning strategists will not be available as they are academic staff.
The day care centres at Newnham and King campuses will continue normal operations.
Dining Services hours of operation during the strike are posted. They are subject to change and will be updated as needed.
Will the Seneca campus shuttle bus continue to operate during the strike?
Is TTC/York Regional Transit bus service to Seneca affected?
Public transit to and from Seneca will continue in the event of a strike. However, it is expected that TTC and YRT buses will not cross picket lines and riders will be dropped off in alternate locations near the campus. This information will be updated as more details are available.
Passengers who use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Wheel-Trans or the the York Region Transit (YRT) Mobility Plus Service should contact their service for more information about any changes that may occur during a strike.
Will evening and weekend classes be cancelled?
Every effort will be made to ensure our Part-time Studies evening and weekend programs will continue to be offered. If there are any changes students will be contacted directly.
Will the strike affect online, correspondence and OntarioLearn programs?
The vast majority of the programs offered through Part-Time Studies at Seneca will proceed as normal. If there are any changes due to the strike, students will be contacted directly.
If there is a long strike can students withdraw and get a refund?
Students are advised not to consider withdrawal at this time. Seneca is committed to ensuring students do not lose their academic status/year. In the past, decisions regarding withdrawal and refunds have been made by the province, not an individual college. No decision has been made at this time, and students are urged to stay in their program.
What if I have travel plans in December?
We will do our best to help all our students make arrangements to finish their semester and honour travel commitments.