When could Ontario schools see a strike? Here’s the latest on contract talks for teachers

The unions representing Ontario’s teachers are in bargaining with the government of Premier Doug Ford and the province’s school boards.

Here’s the latest on the status of each union’s province-wide contract negotiations, including when each union would be legally allowed to strike.


  • The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Teachers Federation (OSSTF) represents 60,000 members, mostly high school teachers in the public school system.
  • Status of contract talks: The union requested a conciliator to join the talks in mid-October, but the two sides haven’t appeared to make progress since that time.
  • Legal strike position: The union, which already launched a work-to-rule campaign, is holding a one-day strike on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Union leaders haven’t ruled out further job action.
  • Latest news: Public high school teachers threaten 1-day, province-wide strike


  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is the province’s largest education union, representing 83,000 members, mostly elementary teachers in the public school system.
  • Status of contract talks: Negotiations are ongoing.
  • Legal strike position: ETFO members voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action, and followed that up by launching a work-to-rule campaign that began at the end of November.
  • Latest news: Ontario elementary teachers, high school teachers launch work-to-rule campaigns


  • The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) represents 45,000 teachers (elementary and secondary) in the publicly funded Catholic school system.
  • Status of contract talks: Negotiations are ongoing. Meanwhile, OECTA is awaiting a hearing at the Ontario Labour Relations Board on its complaint the Ford government violated provincial labour law by changing class size provisions while bargaining was under way.
  • Legal strike position: So far, union members voted 97 per cent in favour of potential strike action, and followed that up by asking for a conciliator to assist the negotiations on Nov. 18. Now, the union has requested a “no board” report, which once issued, would put the Catholic teachers in a legal strike position in weeks.
  • Latest news: Ontario English Catholic teachers move closer to legal strike position

CUPE/OSBCU — Strike averted as of Oct. 6

  • CUPE represents 55,000 school support workers, including clerical staff, custodians and educational assistants, through the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU)
  • Status of contract talks: CUPE and the province reached a deal just hours before a potential full-scale strike that would have resulted in many schools across the province shutting down. That deal was ratified on Nov. 4.
  • Latest news: CUPE says 79% of Ontario education workers vote in favour of new deal


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