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The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation is taking the final legal step to clear the way for strikes in the seven hand-picked regions, with two boards already a week into a mandatory 17-day countdown, union president Paul Elliott said.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The union representing Ontario high school teachers has set a strike date for Peel Region, as teachers in Durham Region hit the picket lines for a second day.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation says teachers in Peel, west of Toronto, will go on strike May 4 if a local collective agreement is not reached with the school board by then.

In Durham Region, east of Toronto, schools remain closed after teachers began a strike Monday, leaving 24,000 students out of class.

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This is the first round of negotiations since the province brought in a new bargaining system, with both local and provincial talks.

Centrally, talks resumed Monday between the high school teachers and the province, while the elementary teachers have said their central talks are at an impasse.

The Peel strike date is the third set locally by the OSSTF, with teachers in the Sudbury area – in the Rainbow District School Board – set to walk out April 27.

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