The Australian Education Union ACT branch has denied that strike action by teachers is looming as children return to school on Monday.
In an article posted on the ACT branch's website on Sunday, the union said "constructive discussions were continuing between the union and Education and Training Directorate negotiating teams".
Canberra's teachers want a small reduction in work hours for secondary teachers and primary school educators, using the time instead for communal staff training.
"Strike action isn't looming," the union's article said.
"If we were to even consider industrial action, it would be debated and voted on by Branch Council. Fair Work Australia would then conduct a ballot of all members."
The article said if the "regrettable situation" arose when industrial action needed to be considered, it would be a decision for all union members.
"The matter would first be put to a vote of representatives from all ACT schools at ACT Branch Council. Fair Work Australia would then conduct a ballot of all AEU members. A majority would be necessary before we could legally take industrial action," the article said.
"But that decision-point, if it arises at all, is some time in the future."
The ACT government has been working with educators to determine a new enterprise agreement.
The previous agreement expired in September and the government has been working with teachers and the union to work out a new agreement since last April.