CUPE salutes Auditor General Paul Martin’s investigation into the management of private agency nursing contracts in New Brunswick. This is why CUPE 1252 (representing over 9,000 healthcare workers in NB), along with the NB Council of Nursing Home Unions (over 4,400 long-term care workers) are demanding a broader inquiry into other facets of healthcare privatization.

While the spotlight has been primarily on the substantial costs associated with travel nurse contracts, CUPE asserts that privatization extends far beyond this aspect. Notably, private resident attendants’ roles are also being outsourced instead of being handled in-house, leading to significant financial burdens for New Brunswick residents.

“This investigation into travel nurse contracts merely scratches the surface of a much larger issue of systemic privatization,” asserts Norma Robinson, President of CUPE 1252. “We must address the pervasive practice of contracting out, which has become alarmingly prevalent within both Horizon and Vitalité, due to years of mismanagement by provincial governments. The problems extend beyond the staggering financial costs; it’s about accountability, transparency, and ensuring the highest quality of care for all New Brunswickers,” said Robinson.

In a letter addressed to Auditor General Paul Martin on March 7, 2024, CUPE locals have formally requested to expand the scope of his investigation. “We commend his proactive stance and stress the necessity for a thorough examination of procurement processes, oversight mechanisms, and the overall impact of these costly contracts on healthcare delivery,” said Sharon Teare, President of the NB Council of Nursing Home Unions.

“Millions of dollars are being siphoned out of our province, while the existing workforce fails to receive adequate support from the government,” highlights Trent Snikkers, CUPE Servicing Representative. “This government must prioritize public healthcare instead of profit-driven short-term fixes,” he concluded.