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FREDERICTON: CUPE’s Council of Nursing Home Unions (NBCNHU) is condemning the heavy-handed legislation brought in by the government to impose essential services in private sector nursing homes.

The government introduced this legislation under the false pretense that a strike is looming in the nursing homes of this province.  On the contrary, the NBCNHU reached a tentative agreement with the employer, the New Brunswick Nursing Home Association (NBNHA) on March 12.  This tentative agreement has been ratified by our members and would be in effect now without the government interference in the private sector bargaining process,” said NBCNHU President Valerie Black.  The Council represents more than 4,000 nursing homes workers.

This legislation is basically aimed at CUPE members who work in the nursing homes.  We want the government to respect a signed contract.  A deal is a deal!”

The Government is saying that this Act is a mirror of the Public Labour Relations Act which is not the case.  Under the bill introduced by the Minister of Social Development, Mary Schryer, the nurses who work in the nursing homes are exempt from the essential services legislation,” added Black. 

By bringing in this Act, it is the government which is creating a crisis in the nursing homes of this province.  We are very concerned that the government is using the most vulnerable citizens of this province to get back at us.”

This shows how little respect the government has for the workers and the citizens of this province.  They never informed the union or the Nursing Home Association that this legislation was being introduced. This is a blatant case of government interference in private sector negotiations.”

When the minister introduced the legislation, she said it was to protect the residents of the homes who are amongst the most vulnerable in the province.  We are only asking for what is fair, parity with hospital workers. If they really care about nursing home residents and employees, they would not treat us like the poor cousins of health care.  If the province is so concerned with the well being of our seniors why is it that they broke their promise of increasing the hours of care to 3.5 hours per senior,” concluded Black.

For more information:
Valerie Black, President NBCNHU    506.447.1188 (c)
Danielle Savoie, Communications CUPE    506.381.1966 (C)