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Ruling on legality of teachers' strikes won't come until next week

Last Updated May 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm EST

The Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board says a decision on whether teachers’ strikes at three boards are unlawful won’t come until the middle of next week.

High school teachers with the Durham, Sudbury and Peel boards have been on strike for between three and five weeks, while Ontario public elementary school teachers continue their work-to-rule job action with no end in sight.

“The longer they take, the bigger the effect on our school year so it’s going to be tough,” said Ashley, one of the 70,000 students affected.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday she will introduce back-to-work legislation if necessary, but she has to wait for the Education Relations Commission to determine whether the strikes are putting the school year in jeopardy.

The panel is still gathering information and has yet to meet.

Meanwhile, the public high school teachers’ union returned to the provincial bargaining table on Wednesday for the first time in two weeks.

“What we’re going to have to see is the school boards taking some of their strips and concessions and what they want to take out in terms of working conditions — they need to take those off the table,” said Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation President Paul Elliott.

They plan to meet again next Saturday.