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FREDERICTON The clock is ticking Premier Lord is forcing another strike upon the New Brunswick hospital workers.

This week 95.8% of the hospital workers voted in favor of a strike action if necessary.

Our members came out in record numbers to exercise their right to vote, said Beth Murray, Vice President of the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions (NBCHU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1252. The members gave us an overwhelming strike mandate, the strongest in our history, to get a fair settlement.

CUPE Local 1252 represents 6,500 hospital workers throughout the province. They are the Institutional Services workers (maintenance, laundry, food services, trades, etc.); the Clerical Workers (clerks, secretaries, operators, pharmacy assistants, etc.); and the Patient Services Workers (Licensed Practical Nurses, Emergency Medical Technicians, Respiratory Therapy Assistants, Cardiology Technologists, etc.)

The members of CUPE Local 1252 have been without a contract for the last 14 months. Since the negotiations were going nowhere, we went in front of a Conciliation Board, an independent third party chaired by lawyer Raymond Gorman, Q.C., but the government decided to disregard this process and lowered their offer, said Murray

The Government offered an increase of 3 per cent over 4 years! For most of our members this means a mere $800 increase over 4 years. This offer is simply an insult to our members and the services they provide to the public, which are an important part of health care. With this unrealistic position, the Lord Government is forcing a second strike on the Health care workers, said Murray.

The Lord government has failed miserably to demonstrate a willingness to negotiate in good faith. Our members deserve respect and fairness, not a lot to ask for, concluded Murray.

CUPE Local 1252 will be in a strike position after midnight Saturday, Sept. 25.

For more information:
Beth Murray, NBCHU, CUPE Local 1252 Vice President (506) 624-8308
Danielle Savoie, CUPE Communications (506) 381-1966