An “overwhelming majority” of Toronto’s high school teachers voted in favour of a strike vote, a result they hope puts pressure on the board as contract negotiations progress.

More than 80 per cent of teachers voted in favour of giving their negotiating team a strike mandate as the union presses the TDSB to drop its demand they do more supervision time. There are no plans for a strike at this time.

Teachers voted in their schools all day by secret ballot, says Doug Jolliffe, head of District 12 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation.

“This is legitimate vote, this does mean everything, up to and including a full strike, but that’s not what we are aiming for,” he said. “What we are trying to do now is get a message to the board.”

Last week, board Chair John Campbell made a direct appeal to the high school teachers by writing a letter, distributed to their mailboxes, with details of the contract offer, including the 12.55 per cent salary increase over the next four years — for an average of $80,000 — more teaching jobs and smaller classes for at-risk students. The board is asking them to do more supervision time, although they would still have the lowest rate in the province.

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