Classes are cancelled until further notice at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., as faculty members went on strike Monday.
About 400 professors, librarians, lab instructors and other staffers walked off the job.
Talks broke down between the St. FX Association of University Teachers (AUT) and the administration on Friday.
"While progress was made on many issues, the AUT executive's demands remained well beyond the university's financial capability," university president Sean Riley said in a statement.
Among other things, the teachers want wage increases, longer contracts for short-term workers, improved retirement benefits and health and dental for part-time staff.
"The part-time academic instructors who work for us, often dedicating many years of service, still have no health and dental benefits. None. Our proposal would correct for this injustice," union leadership wrote in a bulletin to members.