ANTIGONISH, N.S. -- Striking faculty at Nova Scotia's St. Francis Xavier University have reached a tentative agreement that would bring students back to class on Monday morning.

Union president Peter McInnis said the executive is recommending approval of the deal. A vote of the 400 faculty and academic staff will be held Friday.

"We expect the contract to be formally approved and we've agreed to return to the classroom on Monday morning," McInnis said in a telephone interview.

The strike at the school in Antigonish began Jan. 28 after the union went eight months without a contract.

McInnis declined to provide details of the four-year agreement, but he said the union is pleased with the wage increases it contains.

"It is essentially what we (the union) had stated as our final offer last week," he said.

"The administration came around to our point of view."

McInnis said teachers have also agreed to extend the school year to make up for some lost classroom time for the university's 4,200 students. The one-week extension will ensure students can complete their academic requirements, he added.

The strike was in its third week and there was mounting criticism of both sides from student groups worried about lost classroom time.

University president Sean Riley confirmed the tentative deal had been reached on the school's website.

"With this agreement in place, the St. Francis Xavier community can now refocus on its commitment to delivering the academic mission, providing the highest quality education for our students," his statement says.