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The strike by CUPE hospital workers in New Brunswick is almost a week old and New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord is still taking a hard line.

Workers not designated essential picketed Moncton hospitals and Lords office this week to draw attention to the governments role in this unnecessary strike.

New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions president David Rouse said the government could have accepted the conciliation board report and saved the province a whole lot of grief.

The conciliation board recommended a 12 per cent wage increase over a four year agreement.

Last year, during a strike by jail guards and community college workers, Lord wanted the union to accept the conciliation board report, this time hes sticking to his eight per cent wage offer

Premier Bernard Lord is attempting to beat up on the hospital workers of New Brunswick, said one strike leaflet, Many of whom are single income women, making as low as $12.27 per hour.

We hope the Premier will return to the bargaining table immediately and use the conciliation board report as a base for further negotiations, said Rouse.

CUPE 1252 has been without a contract for 14 months.