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KITCHENER - It’s day one of a work-to-rule campaign by education workers of Ontario.

Tens of thousands of people are involved after talks between CUPE and the province broke down over the weekend.

The union says it's still far away from a compromise, leaving some local parents concerned about what's next.

Local CUPE president Joanne Delaney-Fraser says she hopes it doesn't come to a strike, but if there is it won't come out of the blue: there would be a five-day warning before the union takes the next level of job action.

Parents dropping off their kids at some Kitchener schools told CTV they were worried what it might mean for the students.

"What does this mean for the kids? Nobody's thinking about the kids," one parent said.

"It's not the right thing to do for the kids, and the kids should come first," another explained.

But Delaney-Fraser, who represents about 1,000 education support workers, says the job action was actually done so they can help students.

"We're not doing this because we don't want to do our jobs," she says.

"We're not doing this because we're this because we don't want to support these children."

The union says its main concern is job security, benefits and pay, something other parents are sympathetic to.

"I think the government should take note of what they do and give them what they want because they are so needed," one said.

The union represents tens of thousands of support staff like early childhood educators, library techs and clerical workers who will no longer be helping with things like attendance and extra-curricular activities.

Custodial staff will not be affected locally.

The minister of education says he remains optimistic a deal can still be reached, but CUPE says it has not been offered any further mediation dates.

The Catholic school board says that, because it knew that work-to-rule was a possibility, it planned ahead, putting contingencies in place to minimize the impact on students.