The province will not extend a deadline it has set for school boards and union locals to negotiate new collective agreements by, Education Minister Laurel Broten says.

The deadline is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Once the deadline passes, the province will be in a position to impose collective agreements upon any union locals without one as per the terms of Bill 115.

“To those school boards and unions which have yet to come to terms on fair, balanced and responsible contracts, I say to you that it is time to end the uncertainty for students, parents and taxpayers and get back to doing what we do best: putting students first,” Broten said in a press release issued Sunday afternoon. “We can start by respecting tomorrow's deadline and we can continue by ending labour unrest in our schools.”

So far about 60 ratified local agreements have been submitted to the province, however many unions are still without a contract, including ones representing elementary and secondary school teachers in the Toronto area.

On Sunday, Broten did announce that CUPE has signed a tentative agreement on behalf of 55,000 school support workers, saying it is proof that deals can still get done.

“This last-minute agreement demonstrates that it is possible to find solutions when we remain focused on putting students first,” Broten said.

The province has still not said whether or not it will exercise its right to impose contracts after the deadline passes, but in her press release Broten said she would be available Thursday to discuss the government’s next steps.

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