TORONTO — Members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario are beginning a series of province-wide strike votes.
Voting that began Monday will be conducted at in-person member-only meetings at various locations through Oct. 17.
The Thunder Bay meeting is scheduled for Oct. 3.
If a majority of the 83,000 ETFO members approve a strike mandate, union president Karen Brown said it won't necessarily mean teachers will be heading to the picket lines.
"A strong strike vote result will help ETFO communicate to the Ford government that they must get serious about bargaining. While we are now working with a conciliator to help us explore all possible options in reching agreements that are fair for ETFO members, central strike votes are another tool we can use to help us achieve the best working conditions and learning conditions possible."
Brown described the pace of bargaining as unacceptably slow, and said she expects a strong strike mandate.
She said there has been some movement on key issues since ETFO filed for conciliation, but more progress needs to be made.
The union represents public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, designated early childhood educators, education support personnel, and professional support personnel.