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TORONTO - A union representing Ontario education workers has taken an initial step toward a legal strike position.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says it has requested what is known as a "no-board report," which starts a countdown toward a potential strike.

CUPE, which represents 55,000 workers such as custodians, clerical staff and educational assistants, says they will be in a legal strike position the week of Sept. 23.

In the meantime, there are more bargaining dates scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18.

Contracts for Ontario's public school teachers and education workers expired Aug. 31, and the major unions are in various but mostly early stages of bargaining.

CUPE members are also in the midst of voting on a strike mandate, with results expected when the process wraps up in two weeks.