Many of the 1,600 public sector workers in Durham Region east of Toronto are now on strike.

CUPE Local 1764 posted a message on its website just after 1 a.m. Thursday stating that negotiations "have broken down once again" and that a walkout would begin at 6 a.m.

Workers represented by the union include paramedics, court staff, income support, child caregivers, health inspectors and others.

There are contingency plans in place to keep some services running to avoid major disruptions to the public. But people who need child care will need to make other plans as the region's seven childcare centres will be closed.

One of the key sticking points is increases in benefits. The union has said the increases offered are nowhere near those which management received after the last contract was ratified.