TORONTO -- A union representing the city’s inside workers has requested a no-board report from the Ministry of Labour, potentially paving the way for a work stoppage that could begin on or around March 18.

CUPE Local 79, which represents about 22,000 city workers, made the request on Friday.

Once the report is issued it will trigger a 17-day countdown, at which point both parties will be in a legal strike or lockout position.

In a news release, CUPE Local 70 said that it anticipates that the strike or lockout date will be “around March 18” depending on how many days it takes to issue the report.

“The city has been quite open about their attempts to seek significant concessions, erode job security and set the stage for further privatization and contracting out of the services Torontonians rely on,” CUPE Local 79 President Dave Mitchell said in the release. “They have also not shown any movement on improving the working conditions of our part-time and recreation members, most of whom have limited access to benefits and no predictable schedules.”

Earlier this month the city requested a no-board report in its talks with its outside workers union, CUPE Local 416, and as a result both sides will be in a legal strike or lockout position on Feb. 27

In the release, Mitchell said that while the city appears to be “pushing toward a labour dispute” in its talks with its outside workers union, it has mostly been silent in talks with CUPE Local 79.

He said that by requesting the no-board report, the union is hoping it can get the city back at the bargaining table.

“With us they just dropped their concessions down and left. So we’re going to use every tool we have to bring them to the table and bargain,” he said.

CUPE 79 represents public health nurses, child care workers, court services staff, ambulance dispatchers, social service employees and long-term care home workers, among others.

Both CUPE Local 79 and CUPE Local 416 have been without a contract since Dec. 31.