By Thomas Goyer 
BELLEVILLE – Ontario public high school teachers voted almost unanimously in favour of a strike mandate.
More than 95 per cent of teachers and occasional teachers, along with 92 per cent of educational workers voted in favour. This was announced in a press conference by the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation Harvey Bischof.
“Our members are committed to defending the quality of education in Ontario against a government that is determined to undermine it,” Bischof said.
The announcement comes just hours after Ontario’s minister of education, Stephen Lecce, called on the unions to begin mediation.
In his statement  Lecce says that a third party mediator would help both sides reach a settlement.
“I am asking all our partners to accept this offer so together we can reach deals that keep our kids in class,” he said
The union has not given a timetable for a possible walkout.
Elementary school teachers, who are also in negotiations for a new contract, will begin work-to-rule actions on Nov. 26.