TORONTO, Ont. – Education Minister Laurel Broten is threatening action after teachers at 20 school boards across Ontario stepped up their protest over the province’s wage freeze legislation.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced early Monday that teachers at 20 boards, including Toronto, Halton and Durham, would begin what it calls “strike actions.”

A bargaining bulletin on the OSSTF website said that among other actions, teachers will not attend staff meetings, communicate with parents outside school hours or fill in for absent colleagues.

Only the public school boards are affected by this strike action.

OSSTF president Ken Coran made the announcement early Monday morning, after closed-door talks with the province collapsed during the weekend.

The teachers have been fighting a new bill that freezes their wages for two years and curbs their bargaining rights.

Broten called the teachers’ protests very disappointing, and said they will put students and families in the middle of the dispute.

She also reminded teachers that the legislation imposing the wage freeze gives her the power to end any strike actions and impose a new contract drafted by the government.

The OSSTF represents 60,000 members and is among three unions taking the government to court over the legislation, arguing it is unconstitutional and violates collective bargaining rights.

The union said it’s open to further discussions, but at this point no talks are scheduled.