Ottawa's English public school board has ratified an earlier agreement reached with local high school teachers in the hopes of sending it back to the province for approval.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation had reached a tentative agreement last week and sent it to the Ministry of Education for approval.

But the union said the ministry returned the agreement with language that was not part of the negotiated contract and declared it null and void.

The board, in ratifying the original agreement, said it hopes the union will do the same.

Then the agreement would have to go back to the province, where board chair Jennifer McKenzie said she hopes the minister of education would respect the agreement.

"We are caught in a dispute between the province and the union," said McKenzie in a statement. "There is a lot of confusion about negotiations and the agreement approval process. The Board wants to reaffirm the value of local bargaining and the need to respect local agreements."

The province is also expecting escalating labour action from English public elementary school teachers, who voted on Wednesday in favour of a one-day political protest should the province legislate them back to work in the event of a strike.

Elementary teachers vote to protest should strikes be halted

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario said last week it would give 72 hours notice before holding any one-day strikes across the province.

The Ontario North East School board, which has 28 schools in the communities of Timmins, New Liskeard, Kirkland Lake and Kapuskasing, has already sent a letter to parents telling them the union is planning on holding their one-day strike on Monday, Dec. 10.

The province has the ability under the recently passed Bill 115 to legislate them back to work, but the education minister, Laurel Broten, has not said whether she will use that power.

The ETFO said 92 per cent of their 46,000 members who cast a ballot voted in favour of a one-day political protest should the minister use Bill 115 to stop one of the strikes.