Today, the majority of the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Union (NBCNHU) members approved the tentative agreement reached between their bargaining team and the provincial government.
Over the last two weeks, the 51 nursing homes represented by the NBCNHU participated in the ratification process of the tentative agreement that was reached on May 26, 2020. The 6-year deal covers the period between October 2016 to October 2022.
Each of the 51 nursing home union locals’ members had the right to accept or refuse the deal through secret ballot. Forty-five locals voted in favour to accept and 6 locals voted to reject.
“Although the NBCNHU supported bringing the tentative agreement back for over 4400 members to decide, we all agree, this deal does not fix all the working conditions issues in our field,” said Sharon Teare, President of the NB Council of Nursing Homes.
“We will continue to push the Government on being accountable to the Letters of Agreement to address the increased acuity of care with every home and increase direct care hours. For those 6 homes that have rejected the deal, we will reach out to them in order to determine what our next step will be,” said Teare.
The NBCNHU recognizes how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the crisis that has been affecting long-term care for years. “Just like healthcare, long-term care should be a true, universal and accessible public service,” said Teare. “Decades of underfunding, understaffing, poor working conditions reveal how we need an overhaul that goes beyond bargaining,” she added. “This will be an election issue,” she concluded.
The NB Council of Nursing Home Unions represents 4400 workers in 51 nursing homes throughout NB.