TORONTO - School bus drivers serving several communities east of Toronto are on strike after contract talks between Unifor and First Student Bowmanville broke off Tuesday night.

The walkout affects routes in the Durham, Durham Catholic, Kawartha Pine Ridge and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Boards.

Unifor Local 4268 says bargaining broke off shortly before the strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. over the key issues are of unpaid work hours and wages.

The drivers have been working without a contract since Aug. 31, 2017 and have been in a legal strike position since Dec. 10, 2017.

Parents are advised to visit the Student Transportation Services for Central Ontario and Durham Student Transportation Services websites for school listings and cancellation notices.

“It's important that our kids get to school safely and that means well trained, responsible drivers,” said local president Debbie Montgomery.

Click here for a list of schools affected by the strike.