The new agreement provides services to Ontario students and improves the working lives of 55,000 teaching workers who are present in centralized negotiations by CUPE`s Ontario School Board of Unions (OSBCU). The agreement also puts an end to the current industrial action by CUPE education workers and prevents a national strike that could have started on Monday. Laura Walton, President of the Ontario Union School Board, spoke to the media shortly after Lecce. She said she regretted the disruption that the negotiations could have caused and that the process had taken longer than expected, but said public support had helped the parties reach an agreement. « Our goal was to conclude agreements in this process that respect taxpayers, students and families, while recognizing the important contributions of our front-line education workers, » he wrote. Premier Doug Ford made a brief statement after the preliminary agreement was announced, saying the government would « continue negotiations in good faith with all of our negotiating partners. » After a long weekend of negotiations, an interim agreement on a new central agreement was reached following discussions between CUPE, the provincial government and the foundation councils. TORONTO – A strike that reportedly shut down hundreds of schools across Ontario was averted Sunday night when the province reached a preliminary agreement with the union representing thousands of education workers. #NEW: @CUPEOntario statement on the agreement reached with #Onpoli pic.twitter.com/ktrvXJx1RI negotiators reached an interim agreement after several days of 24-hour negotiations, before a deadline of 12:01 .m this morning. The union, which represents thousands of education workers across Ontario, has agreed with the provincial government to avoid a strike that was scheduled to begin Monday. « I am pleased to confirm that an agreement has been reached between the Crown, our government, CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) and the school board trust associations that keep children in the classroom, » Education Minister Stephen Lecce told reporters on Sunday night. Sunday`s deal averted a nationwide strike that would have closed hundreds of schools on Monday. Laura Walton, President of the ONTARIO Union School Board of CUPE, apologized to parents and students for the time it took to reach an agreement. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ministry of Education and the DE HAVE Trustees Association have reached an agreement.