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ST. JOHNS A few major sticking points could see public sector workers hit the streets regardless of monetary issues says Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) provincial president Wayne Lucas.

Zero hour is fast approaching and in spite of progress in some areas, the government is still asking for major concessions from our members in health care and housing, says Lucas.

Talks for housing members broke down early this morning, he says, over the employers demand that the work of seasonal maintenance workers be passed on to tenants.

Can you imagine people who have never had to mow a lawn or paint a house all of a sudden being expected to do that work for their landlord? asks Lucas. It would never work.

It would be a shame if the government risked strike action over such a ridiculous proposal.

Bargaining at CUPEs health care table has also not gone well, says Lucas, The employer is still asking for concessions on sick leave and has not addressed some other key issues such as pay equity anomalies and occupational reviews.

Lucas says bargaining for provincial libraries faired better, however, and that both sides have now agreed on non-monetary issues.

It is urgent that we resolve the non-monetary issues at the other tables as well so we can get the monetary issues on the table.

CUPE represents approximately 2700 public sector workers in housing, health care and provincial libraries who have been in conciliation with the government this week.

For more information please contact Wayne Lucas at (709) 727-2509 (cell) or Corinne Budgell (709) 632-0980 (cell).