The union representing Ontario’s public high school teachers has sent a formal notice to begin bargaining, a procedural move that kick-starts what is expected to be a tough round of negotiations.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) is the first education union to make the request under a new timeline introduced by the Ford government.

“They opened up the opportunity for us to serve notice, and we have no reason to delay,” said Harvey Bischof, OSSTF president.

The move means the sides have 15 days to meet to begin preliminary discussions on what issues will be bargained centrally — typically big-money items — and what will be negotiated between individual boards and union locals in the province’s two-tier bargaining system.

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