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CUPE health care workers in Newfoundland have met with the provincial finance minister to press their case for reclassification.

About 35 CUPE trades people at the Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook held a wildcat strike May 12 after hearing their jobs would not be reclassified. They believe their duties have increased since the regionalization of hospital boards.

CUPE had negotiated an occupational review in 1998 as part of their last round of bargaining. The review, which took two years to complete, concluded that no change was warranted.

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador vice-president Donna Ryan says that as a result of regionalization, trades people are responsible for larger geographical areas and consequently theyve taken on more supervisory roles.

Hospital trades have long been underpaid and earn considerably less than those in the private sector, she says. Correcting this inequity was something we thought the government agreed to when it signed our last agreement.

After the face to face meeting, the finance minister promised staff would review the matter to see if there was new evidence that had not been considered in the review.