June 5, 2002 (Fredericton) – CUPE local 1418, representing more than 1,200 social workers and other front line professionals, held a press conference today to discuss their ongoing negotiations and the issues that have pushed them to consider strike action.
“We work with some of the most vulnerable people in this province,” said Robert LeMoignan, of Local 1418. “There are simply not enough of us to ensure that all who need care receive it, when they need it. This government has consistently refused to hire enough staff to even minimally address this situation. They have even refused to put the issue of workload on the negotiating table.”
A strike vote is taking place this week and next. A series of public events will continue to be organized to raise public awareness.
“Some of our members met with Premier Lord earlier this week. He admitted that there is a problem with recruiting and retaining staff,” said Robert LeMoignan. “Yet the negotiating team, working on his behalf has consistently denied this shameful reality.”
Local 1418 is organizing public rallies on June 10 and 17, to which they have invited all CUPE members, and any supportive members of the public to attend. Members of the Local also passed a resolution at their annual meeting on May 25 that paved the way for the local to defy back to work legislation.
“Our members are prepared to fight. If the government tries to impose a contract, we will stand up for free collective bargaining. We will fight for a fair contract for local 1418 and for the rights of all union members,” said Robert LeMoignan.
For more information:
Laurie Kingston, (613) 266-1415 cellular
Robert LeMoignan, (506) 545-5441 cellular;
(506) 547-2051 work