Education Minister Laurel Broten is urging the province's public elementary teachers to work to negotiate new contracts before the December 31st deadline.

  Bill 115 gives Broten the power to impose deals on January 1st that would freeze the pay of most teachers, reduce their ability to bank sick days and limit their right to strike.

   The Elementary Teachers' Federation offered yesterday to end its rotating strikes if the Liberal government agrees not to impose new contracts until a new premier is selected next month.

 The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents workers in the public and Catholic school boards, says it's also planning political protests if new contracts are imposed.