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MONCTON It is regrettable that strike activities have commenced at the George Dumont and Moncton Hospitals this morning.

Members of CUPE Local 1252 who are not mutually agreed as designated employees are picketing the Premier office to express the fact that our Premier has caused this unnecessary strike.

In July, the Government and Union made major presentations to an Independent Conciliation Board. After thoroughly reviewing these submissions, the Conciliation Board stated:

This Conciliation Board has taken into considerations all of the economic factors before it. Taking all of the factors into considerations the Board would recommend as follows:

  1. The parties enter a four (4) year collective agreement.
  2. The total increase for the four (4) year period be set at 12% to be implemented as follows:

  • July 1, 2003 – 2%
  • January 1, 2004 – 1%
  • July 1, 2004 – 2%
  • January 1, 2005 – 1%
  • July 1, 2005 – 2%
  • January 1, 2006 – 1%
  • July 1, 2006 – 2%
  • January 1, 2007 – 1%

It is recommended that the Employer grant an additional wage adjustment to employees in individual classifications identified as requiring reclassification and for those classifications involving recruitment and retention issues. The Board does not recommend the actual percentage increases that should be granted to those employees and believes the parties should be able to negotiate the amounts.

Premier Lord has continued to reject the Independent Conciliation Board Report and this has resulted in strike activity.

The Premiers proposal amounts to only an 8% general wage increase over 4 years and a 4% percent wage adjustment as referred to in the Conciliation Board report.

As you can see, the Premiers proposal does not even amount to what the Independent Conciliation Board recommended as a settlement.

Therefore, until the Premier is prepared to use the independent report as the base for further negotiations none will be scheduled and the strike will continue.

Last year during the strike of the jail guards, and custodians, human services counselors, government stated that the independent Conciliation Board report should be accepted. This year, they need to follow their own advice with Local 1252. Clearly, this is a hypocritical position and therefore will not be accepted by the public.

The Premier gave other health care workers a 24% increase amounting to $13 000 over 4 years. It is hypocritical to offer our members only 8% over 4 years plus the wages adjustments amounting to 4 % of payroll as referred to by Conciliation Board report. It is regrettable that Premier Lord is needlessly forcing a strike in the Moncton hospitals.

We are hoping the Premier will return to the bargaining table immediately and use the independent Conciliation Board recommendation as a base for further negotiations in order to resolve this dispute and end this strike without any further hardship on the patients and their families.

The 6,500 members of CUPE Local 1252 have been without a contract for the last 14 months.

For more information:
David Rouse, President, NBCHU, CUPE Local 1252 (506) 432-0618
Danielle Savoie, CUPE Communications (506) 381-1966