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Lecce calls on teachers' unions to try mediation

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TORONTO—Education Minister Stephen Lecce is calling on Ontario's major teachers' unions to enter into mediation as most take steps toward strike action.

He says disagreements remain at the table on key issues, including compensation, and having an independent, third party would help reach deals.

Lecce is speaking on the issue just as Ontario's Catholic teachers say they have filed for conciliation in their negotiations with the province.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association says the province is insisting on drastic cuts, and has demonstrated what the union calls a total lack of understanding or respect for the bargaining process.

Catholic teachers voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary.

The union representing Ontario's high school teachers will be releasing the results of their strike votes today.

A media advisory also says the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation will be talking about the union's “next steps.”

OSSTF is already in a legal strike position as of today, though it's also required to give five days notice before a strike and has not yet done so.

Three of Ontario's four major teachers' unions are taking steps toward potential strikes as they negotiate with the government for new contracts.

Elementary teachers are set to start a work-to-rule campaign on Nov. 26 that they say will target ministry and school board administrative tasks and will not affect student learning.

Negotiations between the province and French teachers continue.

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