TORONTO - Ontario's driving examiners will be back at work on Jan. 4 in most communities across the province after reaching a tentative agreement to end a long strike with their employer over the weekend.

In an email to The Canadian Press, Paul Dalglish, DriveTest's managing director, says most centres will re-open Jan. 4 at 1 p.m., but DriveTest's "Travel points," found in smaller communities, will open Jan 5.

To address the backlog, the company will also be hiring 100 new employees in the next four weeks to deal with the crunch, which is expected to last several months.

"DriveTest is requesting that customers wait two or three weeks before making an appointment," Dalglish wrote in the email, adding he wanted to focus on those who've missed their test due to the strike.

There is a black-out on details of negotiations, but Dalglish says the union's bargaining committee is recommending that all employees accept the agreement.

The long strike has prevented many Ontarians from getting new drivers' licenses or renewals since August.

Some 590 DriveTest employees walked off the job Aug. 21 after talks broke off with their employer, Serco DES Inc.

The main sticking points between the two sides included wages, benefits, and a proposal to increase the number of part-time employees at the expense of full-time jobs.

The strike affected 93 full-time and part-time DriveTest sites, which grant or renew licenses to novice drivers and those over 80. In November and December, non-striking managers opened 12 centres so that commercial drivers could get their licenses for work purposes.