An overwhelming show of support for strike action from the province's public elementary teachers.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario says its members have voted 95 per cent in support of the action to back contract demands.
The nearly 80,000 full-time and occasional teachers have been working without a new contract for more than a year.
President Karen Brown says the strike vote sends a clear message to the government.
"Our members have been working for over a year without a contract, and their patience has run out. We need the government to stop stalling and start negotiating seriously on our members’ key priorities, like providing more supports for students with special needs, acknowledging the staffing crisis in education, putting a fair compensation offer on the table, and addressing violence in schools," says Brown in a statement.
No strike date has been established for a work-to-rule campaign or pickt lines to be set up as both sides continue to hold talks.
"With the assistance of the conciliator appointed by the Minister of Labour, we continue to work diligently to reach an agreement that is fair for our teacher and occasional teacher members. We remain focused on getting government cuts off the table and on getting the improvements ETFO members and students need and deserve," states Brown.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce expressed his disappointment with the strike vote outcome.
He says it is something that families want or deserve.
Stephen Lecce says ETFO has rejected every opportunity to get a deal that ensures stability for students.
He remains hopeful that ETFO will accept the offer agreed to by its secondary counterparts that allows for binding arbitration to determine any outstanding issues that can not be reached at the bargaining table.