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New Brunswick hospital workers are being legislated back to work less than 24 hours after going on a legal strike Friday, but bargaining continued over the weekend as the bill was being drafted.

The Conservative governments hasty, and some say dictatorial move came as a shock mainly because it will also impose a collective agreement on the 6,000 support staff workers.
This is the end of free collective bargaining in this province, said Danny Bernatchez, CUPE 1252s chief negotiator. Premier Bernard Lord has taken a road that will lead to even more labour unrest in an already unhealthy labour relations climate.
CUPE 1252 had expected to be legislated back to work because it knew hospitals could not run without the 2,500 workers designated non-essential. But we never expected it this quickly, Bernatchez said. And we certainly never imagined that the government would shun the democratic process of collective bargaining.
It is the first time in two decades the provincial government has used back-to-work legislation. In this case, it did so without bothering to use its legal right to force a membership vote on its final offer of 12.5 per cent.
This offer was unacceptable because it would not have raised most of the members above the Statistics Canada poverty line. Worse, it would have forced the union to choose between a general wage increase and wage equity for some of the lowest paid workers.
The government has thrown down the gauntlet to organized labour, Bernatchez said. What it is saying to all unions is that it doesnt matter what you do at the bargaining table. It will simply legislate what you are going to get.