Ontario education workers’ union takes 1st step toward legal strike position

Vacant desks are pictured at the front of an empty classroom.
Vacant desks are pictured at the front of an empty classroom. The Canadian Press file

TORONTO – A union representing Ontario education workers has taken an initial step toward a legal strike position.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says it has requested what is known as a “no-board report,” which starts a countdown toward a potential strike.

READ MORE: Ontario educational workers hold strike vote as students head back to school

CUPE, which represents 55,000 workers such as custodians, clerical staff and educational assistants, says they will be in a legal strike position the week of Sept. 23.

In the meantime, there are more bargaining dates scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18.

READ MORE: Standardized tests for Ontario teachers doesn’t necessarily improve student scores: report

Contracts for Ontario’s public school teachers and education workers expired Aug. 31, and the major unions are in various but mostly early stages of bargaining.

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CUPE members are also in the midst of voting on a strike mandate, with results expected when the process wraps up in two weeks.

The union has previously said its central bargaining priorities are wages, benefits, job security and sick leave.