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

Teacher Hayley Mezei and her colleagues demonstrated outside Queen Victoria Public School in Toronto on the first day of a work-to-rule campaign. Teachers across the province are locked in contract talks with the provincial government, raising the prospect of potential school strikes. (Meagan Fitzpatrick/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 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's negotiations with the province appear to be stalled. The union says its top issues are planned increases to class size and mandatory e-learning. The government says the union is seeking a two per cent wage increase.
  • Legal strike position: The union, which has been running a work-to-rule campaign for months, has been holding a series of one-day strikes, giving parents five days worth of warning before each one. Union leaders haven't ruled out further job action. 
  • Latest news: The union will hold another one-day strike on Jan. 15


  • 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: Despite months of talks, the union says there's been no progress in its talks with the government.
  • Legal strike position: ETFO members voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action, and followed that up by launching a work-to-rule campaign that began at the end of November. In January, it threatened rotating strikes and said its members will no longer supervise extracurriculars or participate in field trips.
  • Latest news: Elementary teachers ramp up job action: no field trips, extra-curriculars


  • 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: So far, union members voted 97 per cent in favour of potential strike action, and followed that up by asking for a conciliator to assist the negotiations on Nov. 18, 2019. OECTA started the new year by threatening a one-day strike on Jan. 21.
  • Latest news: Ontario Catholic teachers to launch work-to-rule campaign

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