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FREDERICTON, N.B. CUPE national president Judy Darcy will join striking court stenographers here on Thursday, September 28, to tell Premier Bernard Lord that its time to put some justice back into the N.B. justice system.

I stand behind these members 100 per cent, Darcy told the premier in a September 18 letter requesting a meeting. Darcy will present Premier Lord with hundreds of signed coupons supporting the stenographers who are widely respected as the backbone of the provincial justice system.

After exhausting efforts to reach an agreement, CUPE Local 1840 struck yesterday (September 25). They are prepared to return to the negotiating table, but the government has not called to continue the talks.

The stenographers are paid well below other Maritime counterparts. For example, PEIs court stenos earned $17.63 an hour in 1999 or 13 per cent more than those in N.B. Nova Scotias court stenos got $20.02 an hour or 28 per cent more. On average, N.B. stenos earned $2.11 less. They would need a one-year increase of 13.5 per cent to reach the average pay in 1999.

A news conference has been set for Thursday morning where Darcy and others will be available for interviews.

Thursday, September 28, 10:30 a.m.
Lord Beaverbrook Hotel

Contact: Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications, (613) 298-1739 (cell) or
Fredericton Inn (506) 455-1430

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