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September 4, 2002 (Fredericton) New Brunswick’s more than 1,200 front line professionals (including social workers) walked off the job early this morning, after failing to reach a negotiated contract with the provincial government. The most recent round of bargaining broke off last Thursday, after the government returned to the table with an offer identical to the one the union had rejected last June.

“The workers in Local 1418 are some of the most dedicated and caring professionals I know,” said Anne Hogan, President of Local 1418. “We provide services to children and adults in need of protection. We counsel and teach children and parents how to break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of their lives. We provide employment counselling. We provide mediation to couples who are experiencing separation and divorce. We counsel and provide services to youth who become involved with the criminal justice system. We provide services to children and adults with serious mental health issues. In short, we are responsible to protect societies most vulnerable people.”

The union has been without a contract since August 15, 2000. Since November 2000, 22 days of negotiations have taken place, with little movement on the part of government.

“Our members did not make the decision to strike lightly, but are prepared to stay out for as long as it takes to get a fair contract - one that includes a wage increase for all our members. One that includes concrete measures to address recruitment and retention. And, above all we need a contract that enables us to provide the quality of services that we feel our clients deserve,” stated Anne Hogan.

CUPE 1418 represents Social Workers, Case Managers, Probation Officers, Psychometrists, Clinical Psychologists, Employment Counselors, Managers & Supervisors, Nutritionists, Occupational Therapists, Family Court Mediators, Human Rights Officers, Recreation and Culture Program Officers, Recreation Leaders and Therapists.


For more information:

Anne Hogan, 850-1753

Robert LeMoignan, 545-5441

Laurie Kingston, 613-266-1415