Nursing home worker with client in a wheelchairThis Saturday, the collective agreement covering close to 4,400 unionized nursing home workers in New Brunswick will soon expire. The agreement between the NB Council of Nursing Home Unions (NBCNHU) and their employer, the NB Nursing Home Association, is effective from October 16, 2016 to October 15, 2022.

“We look forward to see the employers, represented by the NB Nursing Home Association and the Government of New Brunswick which funds non-profit nursing homes, to both be ready to be constructive partners in the coming negotiations,” said Sharon Teare, president of the NBCNHU.

Negotiations have not yet begun. Sharon Teare is hoping that the past few years and the healthcare crisis have opened the eyes of the government to the urgent need to improve staffing, working conditions, and senior care.

During the last quarterly fiscal update, GNB reported a year-end surplus of $777.3 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. “There is no rational reason to see government deny or delay fair bargaining with workers,” said Teare.

Over the previous two years, nursing home staff did their duties in the most at-risk workplaces, yet none received any bonuses, “COVID-pay” or recruitment aid of any sort from the Provincial government.

“Even before we factor in inflation, there is much catch-up to do in terms of wages, working conditions, and pensions. I believe we can hammer out a new contract over the next month or weeks even. I hope the government shares our commitment to improve senior care,” concluded Teare.