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

Here's the latest on contract negotiations for Ontario's teachers, including when each union would be legally allowed to strike. 

Education unions ETFO, OSSTF, OECTA are negotiating with school boards and the Doug Ford government

Ontario's four largest education unions are now negotiating new contracts with the province. (CBC)

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 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. The union will be in a legal strike position on Nov. 25 if no deal is reached by then. On Nov. 14, the union announced it's preparing teachers for a work-to-rule campaign that would begin on Nov. 26. 
  • Latest news: Ontario elementary teachers threaten work-to-rule campaign to 'turn up the heat' on Ford government
There are two million students in Ontario's publicly funded education system. (CBC)


  • 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. 
  • Legal strike position: The union is holding strike votes until Nov. 15. If members vote in favour of a strike mandate, high school teachers will be in a legal strike position as early as Nov. 18.
  • Latest news: High school teachers' union requests conciliator


  • 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: No date, but union members voted 97 per cent in favour of potential strike action in November. The union also requested a conciliator to assist the negotiations on Nov. 18.
  • Latest news: English Catholic teachers vote in favour of strike action
The unions represent thousands of teachers and other workers, including educational assistants, clerical staff and custodians. (CBC)

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