TORONTO -- Ontario elementary school teachers are now in a legal position to strike in 17 days if a deal cannot be reached with the province.

On Friday, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said that it has received a "no-board" report from the Ministry of Labour.

“ETFO is fighting for investment, not cuts in education, but Doug Ford’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce isn’t listening,” said ETFO president Sam Hammond in a statement.

“While ETFO is now in a legal position to take strike action in 17 days, we will continue to focus on contract talks in an attempt to arrive at a deal that improves student learning conditions and educator working conditions.”

A “no board” report is an official notice filled when conciliation efforts fail and may set a time when a legal strike or lockout can occur.

Elementary teachers voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action last week. Hammond has previously said that his members are concerned about class size, class structure, violence in classrooms and the full-day kindergarten model.

The "no-board" report was granted the day after the province passed a bill in the Legislature capping public sector wage increases to one per cent a year, for the next three years.

The unions representing Ontario teachers are preparing to challenge the government in court over the legislation.

A no-board report was issued for high school teachers on Nov. 1, however they have not yet voted on a strike mandate.

With files from the Canadian Press