TORONTO, Ont. – Education Minister Laurel Broten says she is ready, if the union representing elementary school teachers in Ontario follows through with major labour disruptions, planned for next month.

Teachers said parents will receive 72 hours notice of any planned strike action, which protests against the governing Liberals’ controversial anti-strike law.

“As a mother and as Minister of Education, I am very disappointed to learn that our public elementary school teachers will be moving to strike action,” Broten told reporters on Thursday, adding that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

“The ‘Putting Students First’ act allows us and gives us the tools that we would need to respond when this threat develops itself into a reality, if and when it does,” Broten said.

“I’m saying to them: We have the tools. We will respond if we need to at the time that that circumstance presents itself.”

She said the government made efforts to bargain in good faith for months before the legislation was passed, and that the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario walked away from the table after an hour – saying they wanted to bargain locally.

Progressive Conservative Education Critic Lisa MacLeod is not impressed, and said Broten could have invoked her own law, giving peace of mind to parents. Instead, she opted to ignore the matter.

Meanwhile, Broten has given a thumbs-up to six tentative agreements reached with high school teachers, saying they are “workable” following initial review.

The boards involved are Durham, Simcoe County, Ottawa-Carleton, Lakehead, Kawartha Pine Ridge and the Near North District school boards.

Broten hopes the tentative agreements will be put to ratification votes in order to move forward in the process.