(Fredericton) The New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions held a province-wide strike vote yesterday. Thirty-four of the NBCNHUs locals gave the union a very strong strike mandate. In the one remaining community, St. Andrews, the vote had to be postponed due to a forest fire.
On average, our members voted ninety per cent in favour of a strike. There were several locals where every single member voted for a strike. Thats a very strong vote of confidence for our negotiating team, says CUPE Representative Gordon Black. Its also a very strong indication of the fact that there is a workload crisis in New Brunswicks nursing homes.
The association representing the provinces nursing home operators has consistently refused to take on the issue of work overload in more than a superficial way. The provincial government has been equally consistent in its refusal to provide adequate funding to ensure that nursing homes are able to meet the needs of their residents.
As frontline workers, the staff in nursing homes care very much about the quality of care they are able to provide. They also know that they cant take care of residents when workloads are spiraling out of control, with fewer staff to do the work. For the sake of their own health and for the health of those they care for, members of the NBCNHU have clearly said, Enough is enough said Gordon Black. We really dont want a strike and we continue to hope for a negotiated settlement. However, this strike vote sends a very clear message about how serious we are when it comes to some real solutions to the workload crisis.
The NBCNHU represents 2,500 nursing home workers across the province.
For more information, contact Gordon Black, (506) 461-4829 (cell) or (506) 458-8059