FREDERICTON About 65 court stenographers are at the end of the line in their contract negotiations and will press government negotiators for a just wage settlement tomorrow.
“We are looking for wage parity and are prepared to take action to get it if we dont see a fair wage offer tomorrow,” said Ed Grenier, CUPE representative for Local 1840.
The stenographers earn about $29,000 a year while other employees doing similar work but without the added responsibilities are earning $40,000.
“We are a full third behind other workers and our members are the ones who work directly with the judges,” he added. “These are the jobs with more responsibility and yet they are paid far less. Thats unfair and it must stop.”
Grenier isnt alone in this view. The stenographers have strong statements of support from judges, the police and even Premier Bernard Lord who promised, if elected, to ensure that the stenographers were treated fairly.
“If he truly feels that way, why are the stenographers now being pushed to the point where job action may be their only choice if they want to get a
fair increase?” Grenier asked.
The stenographers last contract, a three-year agreement, expired on September 30. They have been negotiating since last November. The government has offered them an increase that amounts to about two cents an hour.
Ed Grenier, CUPE representative,
Raymond Leger, CUPE researcher,